Posted on: Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

Did You Know? Legend has it that folks carved a cross on soda bread to "let the devil out" while it's baking for good luck, and others say that it made it easy to divide into 4 pieces. It was also a symbol for a cross during Christian holidays.

While not the traditional Irish soda bread, I've included raisins in mine, turning it into something called "Spotted Dog" or "Railway Cake." If you want to make a truly authentic soda bread, the recipe simply calls for flour, buttermilk, baking soda, and salt. The caraway seeds and plump raisins in this recipe drew me in, so this is what you see today.

St.Patrick's Day has never been a big holiday in my house, but being on Spring Break has left me with extra time to bake, so I thought I would start the tradition of soda bread eating this year. Turns out, it might make a more frequent appearance on my kitchen table. It's good, really good.




Irish Soda Bread

Taking on the taste of rye, but with a much crumblier texture, this traditional Irish staple was by far the easiest bread I've ever made. Sudded with sweet, plump raisins, the only thing difficult about this bread was slicing it. After the initial chop, the remainding slices pretty much all broke in half. Nothing a little butter couldn't piece back together. Happy St.Patrick's Day!


Irish Soda Bread
Adapted from the March 2009 Issue of Martha Stewart Living

1 1/3 cups whole milk
1/3 cup apple-cider vinegar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface and dusting
2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup unprocessed wheat bran
1/4 cup caraway seeds
1 cup (5 ounces) raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Mix milk and vinegar in a small bowl, and let stand until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Cut in unsalted butter with a pastry cutter or 2 knives (I used a fork) until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add bran, caraway seeds, and raisins; stir to distribute.

Pour milk mixture into flour mixture; stir until dough just holds together but is still sticky. Turn dough onto a well-floured surface (I found the dough to be quite sticky, so I added an additional 1/2 cup of flour to the recipe above). Pat and press the dough gently into a round, dome-shaped loaf, about 7 inches in diameter. Transfer to prepared sheet.

Lightly dust top of loaf with flour. With a sharp knife, cut an X into the top, 3/4 inch deep. Bake, rotating halfway through, until loaf is golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Soda bread is best eaten the day it is made; serve with salted butter.


22 comments:

  1. Great, festive treat to bake over spring break!! :-)

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  2. Looks great! Happy St.Patty's Day!

    NAOmni

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  3. Sounds absolutely delicious! And it looks even better, especially with the butter! My kind of way to eat bread, for sure!

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  4. My hubby loves Irish Soda Bread and I've been meaning to make some for him. This looks like a good recipe to try!

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  5. Ohh I'm so sad because I don't have the time to cook or bake today and so wanted to. I was hoping to make a quick loaf of Irish Soda bread...wahhhh!
    where do you live? can I come over and get a slice with butter? LOL

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  6. Oooh, I like that I don't need buttermilk for this recipe! I'll try this out, but I don't have caraway seeds....I'm sure cinnamon isn't traditional, but I'll be it will be a tasty substitution.

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  7. Raisins in Irish Soda Bread aren't traditional? And here I've been duped into thinking they were all these years. So much for buying soda bread from the locals and listening to their yarns! I'm shocked.

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  8. We should've made one too. But then it would've been gone in 60 seconds. And that's not a good thing all the time!

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  9. mm, I can TEAR UP some Irish Soda bread! Delish

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  10. Bread and butter. Simple yet one of my favorite things

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  11. Oh, this bread looks so satisfying and delicious. Fabulous!

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  12. Mmmm, looks like it turned out perfectly! Soda bread is one of my favorite things; slightly sweet and full of texture, it is definitely among my most well-liked breads. I might just have to add this to my recipe roster despite the fact that I have only three mouths to feed :P

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  13. So that's what the cross was for. I thought it was done like that so the bread resembles a four-leaf clover. I also posted a similar recipe :)

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  14. I have never even tasted irish soda bread, much less baked it. I definitely need to try it soon.

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  15. Looks good but I have to admit to either picking out the raisins or leaving them out all together. :-)

    Hope you had a Happy St. Paddy's Day!
    ~ingrid

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  16. that looks so fresh and wonderful!!! and the center looks so moist! yum!

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  17. I actually haven't ever made soda bread, but it sounds so easy and tasty, I must fix that soon.

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  18. nice job on the bread! it looks perfect.

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  19. Thanks so much for visiting my blog! I will definitely be a regular reader on yours--love it. :)

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  20. Your bread looks delicious! I just read the blurb about you and I am so with you on the health and nutrition retreat! I am a 34 year old with a culinary degree that is useless to me now! Good luck on your dream!

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  21. mema or however you spell it loved this bread. so much so she didn't even believe you made it! and that is why i love to blog.

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  22. MMMMMM....this bread looks superb!!! A fab bread!

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