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Irish Soda Bread

I love this recipe because it is so versatile. Make it with the orange zest or use caraway seeds and you have a savory bread.  Bake it in a round, or in a loaf shape which you can slice for toast. Substitute dried cranberries for raisins for a little different flavor. Or, if you’d just like some homemade bread without having to knead the dough and let it rise, just make it plain without the dried fruit. Then you can use it for toast or sandwiches. Run out of bread and don’t want to have to run to the store? Just whip up some Irish Soda Bread. Any way you choose to prepare it, it’s a real treat for your St. Paddy’s Day dinner.

Irish Soda Bread

4  cups  all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, cut into chunks
3/4  cup  raisins or dried cranberries
2 large eggs
1-½ cups  buttermilk*
2 tablespoons caraway seeds (optional)
OR Zest from one orange, (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a baking sheet, set aside. In a large mixing bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt. Add orange zest OR caraway seeds, if using. Cut in butter chunks until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in raisins. Make a well in the center of the mixture.
In a small mixing bowl combine eggs and buttermilk. Add all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened. On a lightly floured surface gently knead dough to form a dough (about 4 or 5 times). Shape into a 9-inch round loaf. Or, if you  want to slice it for toast, shape the dough into a loaf.
Transfer dough to prepared baking sheet. With a sharp knife, make 2 slashes all the way across the loaf to form an X on a round loaf. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until sharp knife or skewer inserted into middle comes out clean.

*Buttermilk: Use powdered buttermilk and water to equal amount called for in recipe, OR use 1-1/2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice and enough milk to equal 1-1/2 cups. Let stand a few minutes before using.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011 at 2:31 pm and is filed under Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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