Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Irish Soda Bread

Need a treat to bring for a St. Patrick's Day event?  This Irish Soda Bread is simple to make and absolutely delish!  Add raisins to this recipe if you want an added hint of sweetness. Recipe courtesy of
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a large baking sheet.   In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and butter. Stir in 1 cup of buttermilk and one egg. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round and place on prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush loaf with this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an 'X' into the top of the loaf.  

Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. You may continue to brush the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes. 

Measure four cups of all-purpose flour.
I store my flour in Ziploc tupperware to keep it fresh.
Add 4 tablespoons of sugar, 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 Tablespoon of baking powder.

Cut butter into pieces. 

Add to flour mixture.

Mixture should look crumbly in texture.

Dig a hole in the center of the bowl and add egg.

How I crack my eggs: 1. Gently tap the egg on a hard surface.

This should make a slight indentation in the shell.

2. Gently push into the indentation with your fingers and slowly crack open shell.  No more eggshells!
Add buttermilk.
Switch to a dough attachment.  If you are not using a mixer, you can use a whisk.

Mix until just incorporated and remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl.   If using a whisk, you will only need to mix the batter around 4-5 times.
Knead the dough with the dough attachment on low for about 7-8 minutes.
If you are not using a stand mixer, flour a board and knead the dough with your hands for about 15-20 minutes until the dough is ready.  This dough is sticky so make sure to flour your hands really well or grease your hands with vegetable oil.
Dough is ready when it is elastic.  When you pull on the dough...
It should spring right back into place!  Remove dough from bowl and shape into a round on a greased baking sheet.
In a separate bowl, melt 1/4 cup of butter.

Add 1/4 cup buttermilk to melted butter and stir.
Dip a sharp knife into the melted butter mixture.

Cut an X on top of the round.  I found it was easiest to cut the dough in a poking motion rather than a straight, clean cut.
Take the knife and push the walls of the X to the side creating a wider incision.
Dip a pastry brush or a folded paper towel in the melted butter mixture and gently brush the dough.

Bake in a 375-degree oven for 35-50 minutes. 

Optional:  Occasionally brush the bread with the butter mixture while it bakes.  I love butter so I gave the dough multiple butter baths while it was baking.

Do the fork test to make sure the bread is done.

After 10 minutes on the pan, move to a cooling rack.

Kiss me, I'm Irish soda bread.
Happy baking.


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