(The Best) Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

For something so simple as Irish Soda Bread, there certainly are a lot of recipes out there for making it.   Luckily for me, I have a recipe for the best ISB I’ve ever tasted and so it’s the one I keep returning to time after time.

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Generally speaking, Irish Soda Bread recipes seem to fall into two categories; those with raisins and those without.  Most all of them call for caraway seeds.  Since I am not fond of caraway seeds, I always leave them out, but we love the bread with raisins.  They add just a touch of sweetness.

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This recipe was submitted by a church member when we were putting together a recipe book of favorite recipes by women of our church.  It contains raisins and NO caraway seeds.  Besides the usual baking soda and buttermilk combination, this version has three eggs in it also, so it raises up nice and tall.  It will fill a 9-inch round pan to the top, with a nice high crown.  The eggs also make the texture of this bread more cake-like.

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When I have this bread around I want to keep having a piece, with coffee, with tea, with just about anything.  I especially like it in the morning with some fruit for breakfast.   Making this bread only once a year for St. Patrick’s Day is way too long to wait to enjoy this wonderful bread.  Once you taste it you will want to make it much more frequently than that.  I promise you’ll be craving it all year ’round.

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Butter spread on warm bread makes it just a little better!!

 

BEST EVER IRISH SODA BREAD

Yield:  1  9-inch round loaf, approximately 12 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (I used white whole-wheat flour)IMG_9406
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, chilled
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, chilled
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Grease a 9-inch round cake pan.

2.  Whisk together all the dry ingredients, flour through sugar.

3.  Using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until well combined.

4.  In another bowl, whisk the eggs, then add the buttermilk and combine well.

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Lightly beat into the flour mixture.  Stir in the raisins.

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Place dough into the prepared pan.

5.  Bake in 350* oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the bread has risen and the top is golden brown.  A knife inserted into the center of the bread should come out clean.

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Cool the bread in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing.  Serve warm.

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SOURCE:  Feeding the Flock

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(Not your Traditional) Irish Soda Bread

Pull-Apart Irish Soda Bread

Pull-Apart Irish Soda Bread

If you are not someone who normally bakes bread, I urge you to give this super-simple recipe a try.  It makes a densely textured slightly sweet bread with a delicious chewy crust.  It is not the typical soda  bread that includes currents or raisins and caraway seeds.  This is a round loaf of bread (or individual pull-apart servings) that includes some healthy whole wheat flour ( use white whole wheat) and buttermilk to work with the leavening agents to give it its rise.

It is delicious all on its own, especially when spread with whipped salted butter, or even better with a dipping sauce of honey, melted butter and a touch of balsamic vinegar.

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Irish soda bread is so closely associated with Corned beef and cabbage and St. Patrick’s Day, that I fear it doesn’t get much attention at other times of the year.  That is really too bad!!  This bread is just great at any meal but especially with soups and stews.   It is so easy to make you can whip it up in a very short time and be enjoying it with your dinner.  We also love it toasted with corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast.

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Instead of baking one big loaf of this bread, try making a version that gives individual servings as I did in these pictures.  You start by making the basic dough, but after turning it out onto a slightly floured surface, divide it into 16 equal pieces and, with floured hands, roll each into a ball.  Transfer the balls to a parchment lined baking sheet in 4 rows of 4, making sure each dough is close to the ones around it.  With the tip of a paring knife, cut a 1/4-inch-deep X on each ball.  Because these pull-apart rolls are smaller than a full loaf, the baking time is cut in half.  Try it!

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P. S.  I love raisins in soda bread, so I added some to my dough by kneading them in at the end, just before forming the balls.  These turned out to be really good, and having the individual biscuits instead of a slice is a good form of portion control.

IRISH SODA BREAD

Makes 1 round loafIMG_6861

Ingredients:

  • 1  1/2 cups regular, all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 Cup + 2 Tablespoons buttermilk

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 375*F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2.  In a large bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients (flour – brown sugar).  Add the buttermilk.  Stir to combine and form a soft dough.

3.  Turn out onto a floured surface and with floured hands, knead for  about 1 minute to further blend the ingredients.  Form into a ball and flatten slightly.

4.  Dust with a little flour, and with a sharp knife slash the top into an “X”. Transfer to prepared baking sheet.  Allow to rest 15 minutes.

Individual portions bake for about 18 - 20 minutes.

Individual portions bake for about 18 – 20 minutes.

5.  Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden and crusty.  Cool slightly on a wire rack before serving.  Serve with whipped butter, or a dipping sauce of honey, melted butter and a dash of balsamic vinegar.

So good with a smear of butter or a little honey.

So good with a smear of butter or a little honey.

SOURCE:  My Gourmet Connection