Irish Soda Bread
This is a simple recipe for a quick bread. You can make 2 loaves and freeze one if you wish. You can make one with raisins, good for breakfast, and another for dinner without raisins. It’s delicious fresh – just addictive.
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus about 3/4 cup more for kneading
1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1-3/4 cups buttermilk (you can make this with 1-2/3 cups whole milk plus vinegar to make 1-3/4 cups; set aside for 5 minutes in a warm spot)
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
4 tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup raisins (optional – use half the amount if you are making 2 loaves, one with raisins and one without)
Preheat oven to 375F /190C.
Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking soda in large bowl or bowl of mixer. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or blend attachment (not the whisk, as the butter will stick too much). Add raisins if using. (*If you want to split the recipe in 2 and make 1 loaf with raisins, don’t add them until later.)
In a measuring cup, whisk egg and buttermilk with a fork. Add this mixture slowly to dry ingredients (don’t worry, it will be wet.) Be sure to use a spatula to get any bits of flour from the bottom of the mixing bowl. Mix well. (For 2 loaves, one with raisins, split dough now and knead raisins into one half of dough.)
Put dough on well-floured surface and knead until elastic (it will bounce back when pressed down, and is no longer sticking to your hands.) Tuck bottom edges under and create a round “boule” loaf.
Place loaf on a greased baking sheet or silicone mat on a baking sheet. Score the top with a sharp knife, making an X. Bake for approximately 40-50 minutes. Loaf is cooked when a cake tester (or a piece of spaghetti) stuck in the middle comes out dry.
Let cool on baking tray for 30 minutes, then put on a wire rack. Store in an airtight bag or container, or freeze.