Sunday, April 11, 2010

Irish Soda Bread

This Easter I decided to make a couple of loaves of Irish Soda bread for dinner. A yeast bread would have been more appropriate but this is quick and easy. I was able to put this together and bake it before going to church. For those of you who haven't tried this yet, it is similar to a scone. This recipe was published in our local newspaper, the Post Crescent this year right before St. Patrick's Day. Unfortunately, I printed the recipe off the newspaper website but the recipe doesn't state who the author is.

Aunt Barb's Irish Soda Bread

2 cups slightly rounded all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (a bit less) baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
small handful of each: golden and regular raisins
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons butter or margarine (cut into pieces)
Pinch of salt

Mix the dry ingredients together. Add raisins and gently mix. Add buttermilk, blend, and add butter or margarine. Do not overmix!

Shape into a mound, then gently pat down. Cut a cross-shape with a knife into the top of the dough.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 35 minutes. Bread will be golden.

I have used both attachments on my Kitchen Aid mixer. I do think the paddle works slightly better than the dough hook. I think the batter is too wet for the hook to work it's best.

As you can see, the dough is a moist dough. Kind of in between a muffin dough and a yeast dough. I find that I add a little more flour than what the recipe calls for. I usually double the batch so it makes 2 loaves. One quart of buttermilk will make four loaves. Don't let the buttermilk go to waste! I'm sure this would freeze ok if you double wrap it. Make sure that you don't skimp on the raisins. I only used regular raisins. There isn't a lot of sugar in this recipe so the raisins give it a little extra sweetness.

Because this dough is so sticky, make sure that you generously flour the board. Do you see the scorch mark? All I know is that it involved a husband and a saucepan. I was gone for the day. It really isn't safe to leave home some days.

Generously flour the top of your dough. Now you are ready to "knead". You don't really knead this dough. I will just knead or flip it over until most of the flour is taken up by the dough and the dough is now workable and no longer sticky. Because this is a double batch, I then cut the dough into two and shaped the dough into mounds.

This is what they look like going into the oven. I love using parchment paper. I use that on just about anything that I put into the oven.

There you have it! Two golden brown loaves of Irish Soda Bread. Don't wait for the next St. Paddy's day to roll around to make this. This is a great breakfast bread or snack bread.

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