Classic Buttermilk Irish Soda Bread
Cuisine: Irish
Author: Kitchens
  • 3 Cups unbleached flour; plus more
  • 1 Cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 Tablespoons brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon caraway seeds; (optional)
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 beaten eggs; (optional)
  • 1 1/4 Cups buttermilk (to 2 Cups)
  • 1 Cup raisins or mixed raisins and currants
  1. Plump raisins in hot water for 5 minutes.
  2. Combine unbleached flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, cinnamon and caraway seeds.
  3. Cut butter into dry ingredients by hand or using paddle or hook attachment on mixer at slow speed. Add eggs and buttermilk to form a soft dough. Stir in raisins.
  4. Turn out onto floured work surface and gently knead 8 times, or so, to firm up the dough. Let it rest for at least 10 minutes.
  5. Shape into an 8- or 9-inch round.
  6. Score top with a knife to make cross. Dust with white flour or sprinkle with bran or oatmeal.
  7. Place in 9-inch cast-iron pan and bake (at 375 degrees F) until top is brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Remove and cool in pan on rack.
  8. Serve with good butter, jam, honey or marmalade.
Calories: 267 Fat: 7 g Fiber: .47 g Protein: 6 g Cholesterol: 16 mg
Most authentic Irish soda breads are whole wheat, but combinations of half white, and half whole wheat; or one-quarter white, and three quarters whole wheat still make for a good loaf. As with anything else, a larger proportion of white flour will give an airier and higher loaf. All whole wheat will give you a more rustic, nutty loaf.<br /><br />Both eggs and caraway seeds are (optional) here, for real traditionalists. We alternate including the caraway seeds, but often omit the eggs. You will use more of the buttermilk if you omit the eggs. <br /><br />We like this with a wedge of sharp Cheddar or imported Cheshire or Lancastershire cheese, and a couple of pickled onions for a makeshift plowman's platter.<br /><br />Ideal with slightly softened sweet butter, and a cup of tea or coffee.
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