Monday, November 14, 2011

Irish (American) Soda Bread

At Dragon, we take our opening night galas seriously. Lots of yummy treats, lots of drinks, much laughter. Opening night of Stones In His Pockets was no exception. Since we could have an obvious theme, we opted to trot out some yummy Irish inspired treats. Our stage manager, Elizabeth, made some awesome Irish car bomb cupcakes that were to die for. Our Executive Artistic Director, Meredith, made what I'm now calling hot cheesy Guinness dip. With bread? So good. And I made some good old fashioned Irish soda bread. Though I chose not to go authentic and instead made the Americanized version that most people are familiar with. Turns out that real soda bread doesn't have raisins. It MIGHT have caraway seeds, but even that would be considered fancy. Since a few people asked, and it wasn't exactly an old family recipe, here's the recipe I used for the bread on Friday night. It's incredibly easy to make (trust me, I rarely cook.) It's definitely best to serve it soon after baking - it's meant to eat same day and doesn't keep very well.

yield: Makes 1 loaf

active time: 20 minutes

total time: 1 hour 10 minutes

  • 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
  • 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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