Since Saint Patrick’s Day is coming up, I wanted to do something festive. So I turned up Celtic Radio on Pandora, and invited my youngest cousin M over to bake Irish Soda Bread.
According to the Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread (yes, apparently that’s a thing!), real Irish Soda Bread only contains flour, baking soda, salt, and milk. But my recipe has much more pizzazz, and I’d rather cook something festive than something boring. Sorry Great-Grandma O’Malley!
For my Irish Soda Bread, preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and gather the following ingredients:
4 cups flour
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup dark raisins
1 cup dried cranberries
1 ½ cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon heavy cream
First, use parchment paper to line your baking sheet, and set it aside. Then combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder into a large bowl, and whisk until mixed.
Then use a pastry cutter to cut in the butter. You can also use two knives if you don’t own a pastry cutter.
Next, add the raisins and cranberries.
And stir the mixture.
In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, 1 egg, and baking soda. Then pour the mixture into the first bowl.
And stir with a fork until the liquid is absorbed.
Next, use your hands to press the dough into a round ball, and then flatten it into a disk about 8 inches across.
Then, transfer the dough to the parchment-lined baking sheet.
It should look like this:
Finally, stir 1 egg yolk and the heavy cream together in a small bowl. Then use a pastry brush to brush the mixture over the loaf. Finish by using a sharp knife to cut an “X” into the top of the loaf.
Then put the dough into the oven for 60 minutes, and rotate the tray halfway through.
While we were waiting for the bread to cook, M and I made Shamrock Shakes. I’ll post on those tomorrow, but spoiler alert: they were delicious!
When the hour is over, or when the bread is a deep golden brown, stick a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, ta-da! Your bread is done. You now have beautiful Irish Soda Bread, the way that your grandma didn’t used to make it!
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!