This is an “Americanized” version of the traditional Irish soda bread—a very simple peasant bread that didn’t contain any add-ins. You can certainly make the recipe without them and it’s just as delicious. Serve it warm, slathered with butter, toasted for breakfast— it’s also the perfect addition to your traditional St. Patrick’s Day menu!
Irish Soda Bread
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins or currants (optional)
1 tablespoon caraway seeds (optional)
2 cups buttermilk
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 egg yolk for brushing the top – not an egg wash (this is optional – see variation, below).
Preheat oven to 325° F. In a large bowl, combine flour, caraway seeds, soda, and salt; add raisins or currants. Stir in buttermilk until dough forms. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough until smooth, about two minutes. Shape into round loaf. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. With a serrated knife, cut a 1/2” X into the top.
Lightly beat egg yolk and brush over the dough. Bake 50 to 55 minutes, or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Transfer from pan to rack and let cool. Serve warm with Corned Beef and Cabbage.
Variation: You can also brush the top of your Irish soda bread with cream or milk and add sanding sugar.
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