Why We Love March: Irish Soda Bread

We are big fans of Irish Soda bread in our household. The simple, classic recipe quickly produces a golden, crusty and delicious loaf that is best served still steaming with a pad of salty butter. When March hits and Saint Patrick’s Day is on the horizon, we normally make this recipe many times. It disappears within 2 or 3 days as it gets consumed with every cup of tea or coffee and is always the breakfast of choice. You can add caraway seeds in addition to the raisins or keep the loaf plain without any additions to the classic dough. It bakes beautifully in an iron pan, but baking on a parchment covered sheet does the job as well.

 

Ingredients

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

4 tablespoons butter, room temperature

1 cup raisins

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 ¾ cups buttermilk

 

 

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 425° Whisk together flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.
  2. With clean hands, work in the butter until the mixture looks like a course meal. Add in the raisins.
  3. Making a well in the center of the mixture, pour in the beaten egg and the buttermilk. Mix with a wooden spoon until the dough begins to thicken.
  4. Once a thick dough has formed, flour your hands and gently knead the dough a few times. If the dough is too sticky, feel free to add a bit more flour to make the dough easier to work with. Do not knead more than 5 turns.
  5. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently shape the dough into a round loaf.
  6. Transfer your loaf onto your iron pan or lined baking sheet. Using a serrated knife, score a 2 inch deep X over the top of the loaf.
  7. Bake for 35-45 minutes, depending on your oven. To be sure your loaf is baked through, use a toothpick to poke the middle. If the toothpick comes out clean, your loaf is ready.

Let cool a few minutes and enjoy warm with plenty of salty butter.

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