A new look at cooking and home decorating...with an attempt to add more greens to the plate, more vegetarian options & hopefully lots of new ideas to explore

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Master recipe for Irish soda bread

Honestly, I often get requests this time of year for my Irish soda bread recipe. Truthfully I have many recipes, from my Irish Grandmother, given to be by my mother for that very bread. Every year I change them a little sometimes, adding golden raisins mixed with regular, or soaking the raisins in rum before mixing them in the batter, maybe toasting some walnuts and adding them to the mix. Some years I use heavy cream mixed with lemon juice in place of the standard buttermilk. Here is a master recipe. Add 2 tablespoons more sugar to the dough if you wish, or nuts, lemon or orange juice or zest.

I must mention to you at this point, that on my trips to Ireland this bread was never served. Upon inquiry I was told that the heavy “Brown Bread”, which I have no desire to eat again, is their every day bread and Irish Soda is for special occasions. Traditionally this bread is always round with a cross-slashed through the top center. Serve with tea and butter. I like mine less sweet and with a lot of lemon flavor and zest, but feel free to add in 2 more tablespoon of sugar if you like.

This is the easiest of all of my Irish soda Bread recipes…
4 cups flour
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Tablespoon regular Salt
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon reserved for top of bread
2-2 ¼ cups buttermilk- or just enough to form slightly sticky dough
1 ½ cups raisins (now is your chance to add in other items like nuts)
Juice from 1 lemon (sometime I also use orange as well as the lemon and or orange zest)
Plus an additional 1 tablespoon sugar for the top of the bread

Preheat oven to 375

In a large mixing bowl combine Flour, Sugar, Salt, Baking Powder, Baking Soda. Stir to combine. Slowly, mix in egg and just enough buttermilk to form slightly sticky dough. Add in the raisins and lemon juice and kneed together with you hand just enough to combine the ingredients.

Place the lump of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, silpat sheet, or buttered. Form a mound about 7” wide with the dough. Brush the top with the reserved egg then; with your knife slash an x in the top of the bread. Sprinkle the top of the bread with the 1 tablespoon of sugar and bake for 45 minutes.
Serve warm with butter and a cup of tea.

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