Irish Soda Bread is a mildly sweet bread enlightened by raisins and caraway seeds. A favorite teatime treat or anytime snack alone or slathered with European salted butter, jam or honey. Toasted or not, you'll be hooked. I am happy to share my adapted version from a long-time family recipe.
Prep time @ 15 minutes Cook time @ 45 minutes Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
In a medium size mixing bowl add dry ingredients:
4 1/4 cup AP flour
3/4 cup Granulated sugar
2 Tbs Caraway seeds (optional but flavorful)
1 Tsp Baking soda
1 Tsp salt
Traditional soda bread has raisins either golden or sundried. I like to use a mix of both in addition to adding dried cranberries, dried blueberries and anything else I may have on hand. In past loaves, I've added diced dried pineapple, mango, papaya and more. It's totally up to you for the traditional and non-traditional options. The other option is to plump or not to plump your raisins. In this batch, my raisins seemed a bit dry so I placed them in a bowl and covered them with warm water and a splash of Irish whiskey. Why not give them a punch of subtle flavor! Let them soak for about 15 minutes before draining and make sure to squeeze out all the excess liquid with a cloth before adding to your mixture.
1 cup raisins or dried fruit of your choice (set aside)
3 Tbs Melted unsalted butter (reserve 1 Tbs to brush onto the loaves before baking)
1 1/2 Cups Buttermilk
2 Large Eggs
In a separate bowl combine the buttermilk and the eggs, mix well. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture. Before combining the two, add 2 Tbs melted butter and the raisins. Mix with a wooden spoon or rubber scraper as much as possible. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead until smooth and incorporated about 4 minutes and a few turns of the dough. You'll feel it come together. This makes 1 large loaf or 2 individual loaves as I like to make and give away to a friend or family member.
Bless this Bread
With a sharp knife, cut a X across the top of each loaf.
Place loaves on baking mat or parchment lined baking sheet and bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Check each loaf with a tester in the center to make sure it is cooked through. Remove from oven and transfer loaves to a rack. Slice and serve warm from the oven with butter and jam.