Unique to Ireland, this traditional quick bread was introduced around the 1840’s. A classic product of a poor country, the Irish Soda Bread was made every 2 – 3 days, as it was quite perishable. A St. Patrick’s Day favorite, this bread is made with the simplest ingredients.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons caraway seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1/3 cup raisins
2 teaspoons skim milk
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray.
2) In a blender or food processor; combine flour, butter, sugar, caraway seeds, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Blend thoroughly.
3) In a small bowl; combine buttermilk and egg. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture. Process until soft dough forms.
4) On a lightly floured surface, sprinkle dough with raisins and knead for 2 minutes. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a round loaf.
5) Place loaves on prepared baking sheet. Use a sharp knife to cut a cross on the tops of each loaf. (This allows any stem and gases to be released during baking.) Brush with milk. Bake until golden, about 40 minutes.
6) Place baking sheet on a wire rack and cool slightly. Cut loaves into wedges.
*Wrap tightly, freeze up to 3 months.
By: Cheri Cola