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Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

If you are looking for a fast, easy, and tasty Irish Soda Bread recipe, then look no further.  This bread is the perfect accompaniment for a traditional St. Patrick’s Day dinner.  Many of the Irish Soda Breads that I’ve eaten in the past were a little bitter, but this recipe is buttery and slightly sweet. 

Since Irish Soda Bread is a quick bread, it does not require any yeast.  All of the bread’s leavening comes from baking soda and buttermilk.  This bread has a golden brown crust with a dense tight crumb.  Even though it’s dense though, the bread is tender and soft inside. 

Irish Soda Bread

This bread is so good!  The raisins that have been soaked in rum add a delicious burst of moisture as you are eating the bread and it perfect with some butter spread on it. 

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Ingredients:
Making the bread:

Begin by soaking the raisins in a small bowl with the spiced rum. Stir the raisins occasionally to ensure that all raisins are submerged in the rum.  The raisins should soak for a minimum of 30 minutes.

While the raisins are soaking, preheat your oven to 375°F and gather the remaining ingredients. 

Cut the cold butter into cubes to allow it to mix more easily into the flour.

In a large bowl, sift the flour using a strainer and add the baking soda, sugar, and salt.  Whisk to combine.  Use your fingers or a pastry blender to mix the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. 

Irish Soda Bread with Raisins

Drain the raisins and then stir them into the flour mixture.  Using a wooden spoon or a spatula, stir in the buttermilk just until the dry ingredients are moistened and the dough comes together. 

Pour the dough onto the counter and knead it gently about 8 times.  The dough should be smooth, but still a little sticky.  If it sticks too much while kneading, use a bench scraper.  Avoid adding flour to the mixture, as it will dry out the dough. 

Next, roll the dough into a 6-inch disc (approximately 1.5 inches tall).  Place the dough on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or a silpat. Use a sharp knife (or a lame) to make a ½ inch deep slash all the way across the bread.  Repeat the slash to form a cross. 

Baking the bread:

Bake the bread on the middle rack of the oven for approximately 30 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean.  The internal temperature should be about 190°F if you have an instant-read thermometer

Irish Soda Bread

Place a clean linen or cotton towel on a wire rack and place the warm bread on top.  Fold the towel2 over the bread loosely and allow the bread to cool until it is at room temperature.  This should take approximately 40 minutes, depending on the temperature in your kitchen.  Once it has cooled, it is ready to be eaten!

Irish Soda Bread with Corned Beef and Cabbage

This bread recipe is simple and delicious. It will definitely be a part of my future St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Do you have a St. Patrick’s Day tradition? If so, leave me a comment below. I would love to hear about it!

Notes:
  1. You can use an Irish whiskey if you would prefer, but I like the flavor of rum.  (back to “Ingredients“)
  2. The towel allows the crust to remain soft from the steam, but also allows enough of the steam to escape through the loose weaves in the towel so that the bread does not become soggy.  (back to “Baking the bread“)

Irish Soda Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (129g) raisins
  • ½ cup (85g) spiced rum
  • 4 Tbsp (56g) unsalted butter, cold
  • 2 cups (300g) unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp (37.5g) granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp (5g) baking soda
  • ¾ tsp (5g) salt
  • ¾ cup + 1 Tbsp (200g) buttermilk

Instructions

  • Begin by soaking the raisins in a small bowl with the spiced rum. Stir the raisins occasionally to ensure that all raisins are submerged in the rum. The raisins should soak for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  • While the raisins are soaking, preheat your oven to 375°F and gather the remaining ingredients.
  • Cut the cold butter into cubes to allow it to mix more easily into the flour.
  • In a large bowl, sift the flour and add the baking soda, sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine. Use your fingers or a pastry blender to mix the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Drain the raisins and then stir them into the flour mixture. Using a wooden spoon or a spatula, stir in the buttermilk just until the dry ingredients are moistened and the dough comes together.
  • Pour the dough onto the counter and knead it gently about 8 times. The dough should be smooth, but still a little sticky. If it sticks too much while kneading, use a bench scraper. Avoid adding flour to the mixture, as it will dry out the dough.
  • Next, roll the dough into a 6-inch disc (approximately 1.5 inches tall). Place the dough on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or a silpat. Use a sharp knife (or a razor blade) to make a ½ inch deep slash all the way across the bread. Repeat the slash to form a cross.
  • Bake the bread on the middle rack of the oven for approximately 30 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean. The internal temperature should be about 190°F if you have an instant-read thermometer.
  • Place a clean linen or cotton towel on a wire rack and place the warm bread on top. Fold the towel over the bread loosely and allow the bread to cool until it is at room temperature. This should take approximately 40 minutes, depending on the temperature in your kitchen. Once it has cooled, it is ready to be eaten!

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