It’s funny how I’m not Irish but I have an Irish Claddagh Ring tattoo. Some sort of identity crisis there. Plus I can’t get enough of Irish Soda Bread. I really look forward to this time of year so I can get it in stores. In high school I would sit on the kitchen counter of my boyfriend’s house and eat slivers of it while talking to his mom as we watched Oprah or Dora the Explorer (for his sister).
I decided that relying on stores to get my fix of Irish Soda Bread was no longer acceptable and that I would have to learn to make it. Blog searching led me to the recipe on Andrea Meyer’s Blog. The photo hooked me.
The recipe came together well and resulted in two great loaves, just like the ones my ex’s dad would bring home to the bakery. It’s so easy to put together that you don’t need any mixing equipment aside from a spoon and your hands. I found that my bread was very sticky when I was attempting to knead it. Price had to add a lot of flour to our countertop and my hands as I stood there with bread mashed around my fingers. I’m not sure if it had to do with using less currants than the recipe called for or the overall humidity in our apartment. It had been heavily raining for 24 hours at the point when I made the breads. Either way, make sure you have heavily floured work surface and hands or flour at the ready, or someone to supply it to you.
I like raisins and currants but I wanted as I added the currants to the bread I realized that I wanted to use less than the 2 cups/320 grams that the recipe called for. In the end I used approximately half of a 10oz box of currants, 140 grams. I like the ratio of bread to currant that was created in the end.
Irish Soda Bread
Makes 2 loaves
- 4 cups (480 g) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup (44 g) granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
- 1 cups (140 g) currants or raisins (half a box of currants)
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1-3/4 cup (420 ml) buttermilk or sour milk
- 1 tablespoon milk
- granulated sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 375° F/190° C. (If you are using dark nonstick pans, preheat oven to 350° F/175° C.)
- Combine flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and sugar. Add butter and cut in until crumbly. Stir in the currants.
- Combine egg and buttermilk and add to dry ingredients. Stir until blended.
- Turn the dough out onto a wooden board sprinkled with flour. Knead the dough for a minute, no longer. If the dough is a little sticky, dust with some extra flour. Take care not to overwork the dough, or the bread will be tough.
- Divide dough in half and shape each into a round loaf. Place each loaf into an 8-inch round cake pan or on a large baking sheet. Cut a cross on top of each loaf, about 1/2-inch deep. Then brush each with milk and sprinkle sugar on the top.
- Bake 35-40 minutes until golden. Remove from pans and cool on a wire rack. Slice to serve.
Adapted from Andrea Meyer’s recipe