Thursday, April 14, 2011

Irish Soda Bread

I know it's a bit past St. Patrick's Day, but it's never too late to post a yummy recipe, right? I actually made this a few days past March 17th since I couldn't seem to get my act together before then. I had this great plan to make corned beef and cabbage and found a stellar recipe, only to read it the morning of and find out that it was supposed to brine for 10 days. Ummm, I guess I didn't read far enough ahead when I found that one. I ended up using a substitution corned beef and cabbage recipe along with this soda bread recipe and we had a late Irish celebration. Enjoy!

Irish Soda Bread
Source: Simply Recipes

4 to 4 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup craisins
1/2 cup raisins
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 3/4 cups buttermilk 

Preheat oven to 425°. Whisk together 4 cups of flour, the sugar, salt, and baking soda into a large mixing bowl.

Using a pastry cutter, work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal, then add in the raisins and craisins.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add beaten egg and buttermilk to well and mix in with a wooden spoon until dough is too stiff to stir. Dust hands with a little flour, then gently knead dough in the bowl just long enough to form a rough ball. If the dough is too sticky to work with, add in a little more flour. Do not over-knead! Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and shape into a round loaf.

Transfer dough to a large, lightly greased cast-iron skillet or a baking sheet. Using a serrated knife, score top of dough about an inch and a half deep in an "X" shape. (The purpose of the scoring is to help heat get into the center of the dough while it cooks.)

Transfer to oven and bake until bread is golden and bottom sounds hollow when tapped, about 35-45 minutes. Check for doneness also by inserting a long, thin skewer into the center. If it comes out clean, it's done.