Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Irish Soda Bread

In celebration of St. Patrick's Day and in honor of my Irish heritage, I recently made this delicious Irish soda bread. I did a little research, and while this recipe is not a "traditional" Irish soda bread due to the addition of sugar, eggs and raisins (making it more like a cake), it is very yummy and simple to make. It tastes best warm out of the oven, so share some with your neighbors!

Irish Soda Bread

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a baking sheet. In a large bowl, combine 4 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 3/4 cup raisins, 2 tablespoons caraway seeds (can be omitted if you dislike caraway seeds), 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together 1-1/2 cups buttermilk (I used reduced-fat buttermilk), 2 large eggs and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients to form a dough.

2) With lightly floured hands, knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth, adding more flour as needed to prevent sticking. Don't over-knead. Shape the dough into a 9" round and transfer to the buttered baking sheet. Brush with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Using a sharp knife, score an X into the top of the loaf (this allows heat to get to the center of the dough while it bakes). 

3) Bake until golden, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. This bread is best when eaten warm and just baked. To store, cool on a wire rack before wrapping in foil.

Wishing you a happy St. Patrick's Day!  

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