Have you ever made Irish Soda Bread before? We hadn't, but we're happy we tried it. The start of March means that St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner and we want to make sure that you're prepared with an arsenal of recipes to wow your friends and family.
First off, this crowd pleasing Irish Soda Bread. If you've never had soda bread before, it's the perfect time to give it a try. It has a taste profile somewhere between a quick bread and a scone and is fantastic toasted with butter or homemade jam (you made some this summer right?!).
It's not overly sweet too, with a grand total of 3 Tbsp. of sugar in the entire thing. There's also only 4 1/2 Tbsp. of butter in it as well, so it's not as rich as a scone. The flavour magic comes from an abundance of rich and creamy buttermilk which gives it its characteristic flavour and height.
We added cranberries and raisins to our loaf, but you can fashion yours with whatever add-ins that appeal to you. You could raisins, apricots, nuts, seeds, nothing at all, etc. Be adventerous!
This recipe creates a show-stopping loaf so while it's easy to prepare, it would be a wonderful addition to a brunch table or family breakfast. Your probably already have most of the ingredients in your pantry, so really, you should probably go turn on your oven.
Cranberry Raisin Irish Soda Bread
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
1 large egg
4 1/4 cups (515 g) all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. (38 g) granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
4 1/2 Tbsp. (65 g) salted butter, cold
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease and 8 or 9" cake pan (we used a 9" one) with butter or nonstick spray.
2. Whisk the buttermilk and egg together in a small bowl. Set aside. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender, two knives, or your fingers. Work the dough until it resembles coarse crumbs, then fold in the raisins and cranberries with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredeints and pour in the buttermilk mixture. Gently fold the dough together until the dough is too stiff to stir. The mixture will still be slightly wet, but try and work the dough into a ball as best you can, using slightly more flour if needed.
4. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan. Using a lighly greased knife (spray with non-stick spray), score an X on the top (this step is important as it will ensure the center of your bread gets cooked through!). Bake until the bread is golden brown and the center appears cooked through, about 45 minutes. Loosley cover the bread with aluminum foil if you notice heavy browning on top (we covered ours at the 35 minute mark , but each oven will very in its browning ability).
4. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the bread to cool for 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack. Serve warm, at room temperature, or toasted with desired toppings or spreads. Enjoy!
5. To store, make sure to wrap the bread well in saran wrap or ziplock bag as it it will dry out easily.
Inspired by this recipe.