With Saint Patty’s day just around the corner, I wanted to make something Irish and something relatively quick and easy. Well, first let me just say that this version of Irish Soda Bread is really an American version of what they made in Ireland. The true authentic traditional Irish Soda Bread does not have egg, butter, sugar or fruit in it. I went back and forth trying to decide which one to make, and frankly the Americanized version was more appealing. The true Irish Soda Bread came about during the many years of famine. It was basically a bread out of necessity. Items like fruit, eggs and butter was not something readily available. It was a poor man’s bread. In this version I added some nice jumbo sized dried cranberries, but it’s also very nice with raisins. Enjoy it hot, fresh out of oven, or eat it as I did, for breakfast.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
Mix dry ingredients well.
Cut 4 tablespoons of butter into small pieces.
Add butter to the dry ingredients. Mix the butter by hand, breaking the butter into the flour mixture.
Beat 1 egg lightly. In a mixing bowl add egg to 2 cups of buttermilk.
Lightly beat the egg and buttermilk.
Add the egg and buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients.
Mix until dough is no longer wet.
Add dried cranberries and incorporate into the dough.
Place the dough on a floured board or surface and knead for no more than a minute.
Place loaf on a parchment lined cookie tray and make an X on the top of the loaf with a sharp knife. A serrated knife is best.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 45 – 55 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Check it at 45 minutes. The bread should sound hollow when the bottom of the loaf is tapped.
If you could smell my kitchen right now. If only I could bottle the scent. Enjoy warm!
4 cups all-purpose white flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups cold buttermilk
1 large egg
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 cup of dried cranberries (raisins or currants can also be used)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, sugar and salt). Mix well. Take 4 tablespoons of cold unsalted butter and cut into small pieces. Mix the butter into the flour by hand, breaking down the butter into smaller pieces. Beat 1 egg lightly and in a mixing bowl add to 2 cups of cold buttermilk. Lightly beat the egg and buttermilk mixture. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the buttermilk mixture. Mix until the dough is no longer wet. Add the dried cranberries into the dough. Place the dough onto a floured surface or board and knead to form a ball. Form into a loaf. Do not over-knead or the bread will become hard. Place the loaf on the parchment lined cookie tray and make an X on the top with a serrated knife. Bake on the middle rack for 45 – 55 minutes. Check it at 45 minutes. If a knife comes out clean it’s done. The bread should sound hollow when tapping the bottom of the loaf. Best served warm.