soda bread

Soda Bread

Soda Bread

It’s that time of year. Irish food in on the mind. This soda bread is a classic. Simple and fast to make, it can be served with breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Soda bread is  like a big scone or biscuit. It has a crisp, outer crust, with a crumbly, soft center. The name refers to how the loaf is leavened. Baking soda and baking powder are used to make this bread rise, not yeast.

I like to serve soda bread with butter and jam. A friend tells me she likes to make toasted cheese sandwiches with hers, using a good Irish cheddar, of course.

I used golden raisins, but you can substitute currants, dark raisins, dried cherries, or just leave them out, if you prefer.

I make soda bread all through the year, not just for St. Patrick’s Day.

 

 Soda Bread

2 c. flour

½ t. each baking powder and baking soda

¼ t. salt

2 T. butter

¾ c. raisins, currants or golden raisins

2 t. caraway seeds

1 egg, beaten

1 c. buttermilk

melted butter, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Dust a baking sheet with a little flour. Combine dry ingredients in bowl and cut in butter to resemble coarse crumbs. Add raisins and caraway seeds. Combine egg and milk and set 2 tablespoons of this mixture aside. Add remaining milk mixture to flour mixture and combine just until dough forms into a ball. Place on baking sheet, brush with reserved egg mixture and cut a crisscross on top of loaf. Bake about 25 minutes or until bread sounds hollow.  Place on rack to cool. You can brush the loaf with a little melted butter, if you like. Makes 1.

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

This is one of my favorite recipes. I’ll be making it for St. Patrick’s day, but truth is, I make it often throughout the year. It is studded with raisins and goes great with butter and jam. It is also very easy to make. Like any other biscuit or quick bread be careful to handle the dough  just enough to hold it together. Over working the dough will cause it to be tough. The soda bread should be crusty on the outside and tender and crumbly inside.

Irish Soda Bread

2 c. flour

½ t. each baking powder and baking soda

¼ t. salt

2 T. butter or margarine

¾ c. raisins

1 egg. Beaten

1 c. buttermilk*

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Dust a baking sheet with a little flour. Combine dry ingredients in bowl and cut in butter to resemble coarse crumbs. Add raisins. Combine egg and milk and set 2 tablespoons of this mixture aside. Add remaining milk mixture to flour mixture and combine just until dough forms into a ball. Place on baking sheet, brush with reserved egg mixture and cut a crisscross on top of loaf. Bake about 25 minutes or until bread sounds hollow. Makes 1.

* If you don’t have buttermilk just combine 7 oz. of milk with 1 oz. of lemon juice to equal 1 cup of buttermilk.

Combine dry ingredients with butter and raisins

Combine dry ingredients with butter and raisins

 

Stir in buttermilk and egg

Stir in buttermilk and egg

Form into round loaf

Form into round loaf

Brush with reserved egg mixture

Brush with reserved egg mixture

Cut an "x" on the top.

Cut an “x” on the top.