My whole life I have wanted to be Irish.  But I am not.  Not a drop of Irish blood in my family.  I read all of the Maeve Binchy books wanting to live in a little Irish village.  But I don’t.  I live in California and I have never been to Ireland.  So while dreaming of Irish wool sweaters, and hanging out in cute little pubs drinking a Harp, I am making Irish Soda Bread to continue the illusion that lives in my head.  I have to be honest, I never thought that I would like Irish Soda Bread.  I am not a huge fan of raisins and I really don’t like dried fruits.  But I love Irish Soda Bread.  It is delicious.  The other day, we were at Panera Bread and they had samples of their Irish Soda Bread and it was amazing.  Theirs had caraway seeds in it.  So delicious.  I was looking for a recipe to make at home and this recipe has different flavors but it is so good.   It is an Ina recipe, and as much as she can bug me, her recipes always work and are always pretty good.  This was incredibly easy to make, just like a big muffin, mix wet with dry and you are done.

4 cups of flour plus 1 Tablespoon for currants
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into a small dice
1 3/4 cups cold buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten
zest of one orange
1 cup dried currants

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

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.  Mix to combine.  Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is mixed into the flour.

Lightly beat the buttermilk, egg, and orange zest in a measuring cup.  Add the buttermilk into the flour mixture.  Combine the currants with 1 tablespoon flour and mix it into the dough.  This is a very wet batter.

Dump the dough onto a well-floured bowl and knead it into a round loaf.

Place the loaf on the parchment lined 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.

This is perfect to share with a friend over a cup of tea slathered with butter.  A perfect afternoon snack.

Irish Soda Bread
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cups of flour plus 1 Tablespoon for currants
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into a small dice
  • 1¾ cups cold buttermilk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • zest of one orange
  • 1 cup dried currants
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a pan with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Mix to combine. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is mixed into the flour.
  3. Lightly beat the buttermilk, egg, and orange zest in a measuring cup. Add the buttermilk into the flour mixture. Combine the currants with 1 tablespoon flour and mix it into the dough. This is a very wet batter.
  4. Dump the dough onto a well-floured bowl and knead it into a round loaf.
  5. Place the loaf on the parchment lined pan and lightly cut an X into the top of the bread with a serrated knife.
  6. 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.

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