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living the sweet life

Traditional Irish Soda Bread

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Hope you’re all having a good time today eating Irish Soda Bread, green bagels, drinking Guinness (or Guinness floats – check back tomorrow for how to use up your leftover beer!), maybe eating some of these Guinness & Bailey’s cupcakes. I know I’ve been eating my fair share of the Irish Soda Bread that I made last night (for the first time!) and don’t know if I’ll have any leftover  to share with my friends.

I know it’s been VERY quiet on the blog the past month, but a lot has been going on (good things, don’t worry). I decided to move back to the east coast, so I’ve been spending my time going through my LA bucket list and spending time with friends, so I’ve barely been cooking meals, let alone baking. But I promise that will change, especially since I need to try and use up all my flours and sugars!

Anyway, I’ll do a whole post on the move eventually. Today is about Soda Bread. Now, I love quick breads. Beer bread, pumpkin bread, banana bread, etc. But I’ve never had Irish Soda Bread! I’m only a very small fraction Irish, but I’ve seen recipes for it all over the place and have always wanted to try it! The only problem is I don’t like raisins, and all the recipes I saw had them. Now I know that they’re easy to take out, but I wanted to do more research.

So I did. And I found that soda bread traditionally only has flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. The egg, butter, raisins, sugar, and everything else is mostly American additions to make it more pleasing to our palate. I did add two small teaspoons of sugar, but other than that I stuck to the traditional recipe. And I’m in love. I’ve been slathering butter (and a sprinkle of salt, since I only have unsalted butter at home) on top and it’s delicious. Hearty, chewy, crunchy. Basically perfect. ESPECIALLY since the dough came together in about 5 minutes with very little work.

While it’s maybe late in the day to make this, please take the 5 minutes of active time plus 30-45 minutes to bake some Irish Soda Bread and enjoy with dinner, for breakfast tomorrow, or just as a snack. Enjoy!

Irish Soda Bread

makes 1 loaf

3 1/2 cups (1 pound) all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

3/4 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

In a large and wide bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in 1 1/2 cups of the buttermilk. Use one hand, with fingers spread apart, to slowly mix together flour and buttermilk until dough comes together. Pour in remaining buttermilk, if needed, one tablespoon at a time. Careful not to overwork the dough!

Transfer dough to a well-floured surface and bring dough together into a circle, about 1 1/2 inches thick. Then, flip over the dough so the floured side is on top. Score a cross on top of the bread, edge to edge about 1/4 inch deep.

Move dough round to a baking sheet, lightly floured only on where the dough will sit. Bake for 15 minutes. Lower temperature to 400 degrees F, and bake for 20-30 minutes. Bread is ready when browned and hollow sounding when you tap the bottom.

Transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool to room temperature.

[source: recipe lightly adapted from Fine Cooking]



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