Happy St. Patrick’s Day, baking gods and goddesses!
So I’ve been on a *wee* bit of an Irish cooking/baking spree since last weekend. Besides the Shepherd’s Pie, I also made boxty and colcannon – neither of which lasted long enough to photograph. Oops. I exercised *slightly* more self-control with this recipe for Irish Soda Bread, which – despite enjoying it in Ireland half a dozen times – was my first stab at baking it. Holy deliciousness! It took all of 10 minutes to throw together, and is easily my favorite new recipe of 2015. I used golden raisins instead of currants – which I’m sure is some kind of soda bread blasphemy – but I thought they were a fantastic substitution. I also brushed the loaf with melted butter three times throughout the 55 minutes it baked, and sprinkled it lightly with sugar. The result was a sweet, crunchy crust and a soft, dense interior. I can’t wait to make it again. Enjoy!
IRISH SODA BREAD
Inspiration: Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten
Yields: 1 loaf
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for currants/raisins
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 3/4 cups cold buttermilk, shaken
- 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp freshly grated orange zest
- 1 cup raisins or currants
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is mixed into the flour.
- With a fork, lightly beat the buttermilk, egg, and orange zest together in a measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. Combine the currants or raisins with 1 tablespoon of flour and mix into the dough. It will be very wet.
- Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and knead it a few times into a round loaf. Place the loaf on the prepared sheet pan and lightly cut an X into the top of the bread with a serrated knife. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. When you tap the loaf, it should make a hollow sound.
- Cool on a baking rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.