Soda Bread You'll Actually Love

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Celebrating St. Patrick's Day is part of my heritage, which means we host a gathering every year to share a traditional Irish meal with friends. One of the best parts of our feast is a flavorful round of soda bread. I've made it for the past four years. Now I know what you are thinking. Soda bread? Isn't that dry and chalky and something you usually choke down as a polite dinner guest? Normally you'd be correct. But this, oh this, is something entirely different—delicious and crusty, sweet and moist, a caraway infused bread that both kids and adults devour! Slathered with Irish butter it's almost like eating dessert. Plus it doesn't require any rise time, which means total prep from start to finish is a little over an hour. Perfect to serve alongside corned beef and cabbage.

Irish Soda Bread
(serves 10-15)

1/2 cups white sugar
4 cups all purpose flour 
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp kosher salt
2 1/2 cups raisins (I use half golden and half dark)
1 TBS caraway seeds
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 cup sour cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put a nonstick baking mat or parchment paper on a cookie sheet. In a mixing bowl combine flour (reserving one Tablespoon), sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, raisins and caraway seeds. In a small bowl, blend eggs, buttermilk, and sour cream. Stir the liquid mixture into the flour mixture just until the flour is moistened. Kneed into a round 4-5 times. Dough will be very sticky. Place the dough on the prepared pan and pat down. Cut a 3/4 inch deep 'X' slit in the top of the bread and dust with reserved flour. 

Bake for 55-65 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Best served 3-4 hours after cooling. 

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