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Irish Soda Bread

March 17, 2014

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As someone who is part Irish, celebrating St. Patrick’s Day is always a must for my family and in my household. Growing up, my mom would always cook up a big pot of corned beef and cabbage but now that it’s just me and my husband, we decided to start our own tradition of making an Irish feast to celebrate the luck of the Irish.

I’ve always wanted to try making Irish Soda Bread and I was surprised out how easy it was to prepare and how amazing it turned out. I found the recipe from Ina Garten and swapped out the currants with dried cranberries because I couldn’t find currents anywhere. Turns out they make for a great substitute and the bread almost tastes like cranberry scones.

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By cutting an X in the loaf with a serrated knife before it bakes, you create a nice rustic texture for the bread that adds to the great crust.

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It was a huge hit at the party and now a new favorite of my husband’s. It would be a great recipe for breakfast or brunch or simply as an accompaniment with dinner. Happy baking!

Recipe:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for currants
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 3/4 cups cold buttermilk, shaken
  • 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is mixed into the flour.

With a fork, lightly beat the buttermilk, egg, and orange zest together in a measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. Combine the cranberries with 1 tablespoon of flour and mix into the dough. It will be very wet.

Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and knead it a few times into a round loaf. Place the loaf on the prepared sheet pan and lightly cut an X into the top of the bread with a serrated knife. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the crust is light brown. When you tap the loaf, it will have a hollow sound.

Serve warm or at room temperature.


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