Thursday, March 10, 2011

An 'American-Style' Irish Soda Bread; Raisins, Sugar, Butter...I Could Be Taken To The Woodshed By The Soda Bread Society!

Apologies to the Society For The Preservation Of Irish Soda Bread  (yes, there really is such a group!!) for deviating from the traditional soda bread I made on Monday. I wanted to try a recipe that was more cake-like and more of what we're used to here in the United States.

The other bread was delicious, warm and light with a hard crust as it came from the oven and it was like a giant biscuit. It was easy and inexpensive to make but it's freshness was gone by the next evening not having had a lot of mouths to feed.

This recipe was found online and I made one change. Instead of a cup of buttermilk, I used 1/2 cup of buttermilk and 1/2 cup of half and half. It's just as attractive...sweeter... much like a large scone and worth being taken to the woodshed over!

Irish Soda Bread With Raisins
(this recipe appeared in Bon Appetit)
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 cups all purpose flour
5 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons butter, chilled, cut into cubes
1 cup buttermilk (I use 1/2c buttermilk, 1/2c half and half)
2/3 cup raisins

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 8-inch-diameter cake pan with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, 4 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in large bowl to blend. Add butter. Using fingertips, rub in until coarse meal forms. Make well in center of flour mixture. Add buttermilk. Gradually stir dry ingredients into milk to blend. Mix in raisins.
  • Using floured hands, shape dough into ball. Transfer to prepared pan and flatten slightly (dough will not come to edges of pan). Sprinkle dough with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
  • Bake bread until brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool bread in pan 10 minutes. Transfer to rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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