Irish Soda Bread
This is the classic American version, slightly sweet, studded with raisins and caraway seeds.
I have loved Irish soda bread from the first time I tasted it as a little girl. But I truly fell in love with it when I tasted the O'Connor family soda bread, made lovingly and by hand in my husband's aunt's New Jersey kitchen. I asked for the recipe 20 years ago and have been making it ever since. Over the years I have changed the quantities of some of the ingredients to suit my tastes, which is the recipe that follows. If you prefer a traditional Brown Soda Bread, I have a recipe I developed for that, too!
Equipment: measuring spoons; wet and dry measuring cups; large mixing bowl; polish dough hook or fork; spatula or dough scraper; pie or round baking dish; chef's knife; clean dish towel
Ingredients: 4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup brown raisins or currants ¼ cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
2 cups buttermilk
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. In a large mixing bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. Then add the buttermilk, mixing well to create a slightly sticky dough.
3. Shape the dough in a ball and place in a round heavy pan. Mark the center with a cross cut.
4. Place the bread in oven at 375°F for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F for 60 minutes.
5. Remove the bread from the oven and wrap the bread and pan together in a damp cloth. Allow the bread to steam and rest wrapped in the damp cloth for 30-60 minutes.
6. Unwrap the bread and remove from the pan, using a spatula or a dough scraper if necessary to loosen the bread bottom from the pan.
7. Slice and serve with room temperature salted Irish butter!
Store covered/wrapped/bagged for up to 5 days at room temperature.