The appeal of Irish Soda Bread lies in its ease; simple, pure ingredients are combined to create a soft, and chewy bread with a rustic crust. Add that to its blank canvas potential, and you’ve got an instant classic.
I made mine (in less than an hour) using the traditional raisins and orange zest which yielded a lightly sweet and aromatic bread that was almost cake-like. I loved it spread with fresh jam and butter for a delicious (and deceptively light) breakfast.
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for currants
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter,
- 1 3/4 cups cold buttermilk, shaken (substitutes here)
- 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1 cup dried currants or raisins
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is mixed into the flour.
- With a fork, lightly beat the buttermilk, egg, and orange zest together in a measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture.
- Combine the currants with 1 tablespoon of flour and mix into the dough. It will be very wet.
- Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and knead it a few times into a round loaf. Place the loaf on the prepared sheet pan and lightly cut an X into the top of the bread with a serrated knife.
- Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. When you tap the loaf, it will have a hollow sound.
- Cool on a baking rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.