Irish Soda Bread

St. Patricks day is just one week away! I have had Irish and green recipes on my mind lately. You are forewarned.

My first exposure with Irish soda bread was at a friend’s house last summer. For some reason I expected a yeasty not sweet bread so I was a bit taken back by the flavor and the currants. Not my cup of tea that day.

Irish soda bread

But in thinking of what would go with the stew I will be posting later this week the only thing I could think of was bread. Irish soda bread at that.

I was hesitant at first because I wasn’t sure that a slightly sweet orange and currant bread would go well with stew. However once it was was made and out of the oven it scarcely mattered. This bread is downright delicious in its own right. Particularly slathered in butter (but what bread isnt?!).

Irish soda bread

Little loved it too devouring two slices back to back hardly pausing to take a breath. I subbed out over half of the originally called for white flour for whole wheat so I didn’t even feel bad letting him. There are worse things he can have for dinner (he refused the stew we served it with). Right?

Geez. Toddlers.

Anyways. I highly recommend this quick and easy bread. I can see it being a staple around here for days when you just need something tasty to munch.

Irish soda bread

One year ago today: Hazelnut Biscotti 

Irish Soda Bread (makes one ginourmous loaf)
From Ina Garten via The Food Network

4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for currants (I used 2 1/2 whole wheat 1 1/2 unbleached)
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 tablespoons 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 currants

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

Combine the flour(s), 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 currants 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 a cake tester comes out clean. When you tap the loaf, it will have a hollow sound.

Cool on a baking rack. Serve warm or at room temperature (if you can wait that long).

Irish soda bread

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