Friday, March 26, 2010

Irish Soda Bread

As part of my Irish St. Patrick's Day meal, I knew I had to make Irish Soda Bread! I didn't know if I liked soda bread or not, but in Florida we ate it at one of the great restaurants we went to and we all really loved it.

This bread is so easy to make and is sweet, hearty and airy. The texture is spot on and the sweetness is just perfect. This paired with our Steak and Guinness pie wonderfully and is great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I honestly don't know if this is "traditional" or not, but we sure thought it was good! The only downside is that it goes bad pretty quickly, but trust me, it won't be around for very long!

Source: Epicurious - Originally from Bon Appetit, February 2005

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 cups all purpose flour
5 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons butter, chilled, cut into cubes
1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup raisins (I omitted)


Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 8-inch-diameter cake pan with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, 4 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in large bowl to blend. Add butter. Using fingertips, rub in until coarse meal forms. Make well in center of flour mixture. Add buttermilk. Gradually stir dry ingredients into milk to blend. Mix in raisins if using.

Using floured hands, shape dough into ball. Transfer to prepared pan and flatten slightly (dough will not come to edges of pan). Using a sharp knife, cut a large X in the loaf. Sprinkle dough with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

Bake bread until brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool bread in pan 10 minutes. Transfer to rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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