Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Irish Soda Bread

Look how yummy and crunchy that crust looks........

So I know that every food blog out there in the blogisphere has posted a recipe for Irish Soda bread within the last week or yeah. Here is my version. I have been happily snacking on my lovely loaf of Irish soda bread these last 2 days...sadly, it is all gone now. Guess I will have to make another loaf. My version is taken mostly from Ina Garten, and barely from my own idea. The best way to enjoy this crunchy yummy loaf is by slicing, toasting, and buttering it. One of the things I love most about this bread is that it is not too sweet, but still sweet...does that make sense? Other Irish soda breads I have made in the past have been too dry, and too crumbly...and no bueno. I decided to add cinnamon to my recipe...I know that isn't a very "Irish" thing to do, but I am not Irish so I do not feel bad...maybe I will wear green and dance a jig to make up for it...maybe not. Last St. Patrick's day we were on Spring break in Park City, Utah. We spent the day skiing, and then went to an Irish pub in town and had some yummy lamb stew for was fun. This year I worked all day, and then came home and made dinner because the mom is sick with the evil bug...I did however wear a green tank top under my uniform all day, so I guess that kinda counts as "celebrating"...not so much. At least I got to eat some yummy bread. : )

Irish Soda Bread:
Adapted from Ina Garten
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for currants
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 3/4 cups cold buttermilk, shaken
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest (I used 1 tsp. orange juice instead)
  • 1 cup dried currants (or raisins, or a combination of the both)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is mixed into the flour.

With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the buttermilk, egg, and orange to the flour mixture. Combine the currants with 1 tablespoon of flour and mix into the dough. It will be very wet. Do not over mix!!!

Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and knead it a few times into a round loaf. The dough is super sticky, so just get it into a somewhat round shape and then plop onto pan and lightly cut an X into the top of the bread with a serrated knife. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. When you tap the loaf, it will have a hollow sound. The crust will be fairly dark, do not be afraid.

Cool on a baking rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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