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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Irish Soda Bread

Bake up some warm Irish comfort this St. Paddy's day with a loaf of Irish Soda Bread. Great for and Irish breakfast or a mid-day snack for your wee little mouth.
 I am partial to Ina Garten's recipe. After all Ina and I go way back (wink, wink)
Ina's Irish Soda Bread
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for currants
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 3/4 cups cold buttermilk, shaken
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 cup dried currants


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. 
* If you've made a recipe calling for currants before you know it is like being on an Indiana Jones quest to find them. I finally found them at Maceys (if you live in Utah) in the dried fruit section. The box looks like this:
For a little added yumminess serve your bread with butter and jam.
If you can get your hands on them....I love it with Rose's lemon lime marmalade (nice and green for St. Patrick's day) and clotted cream/Devonshire cream. Sometimes you can find them at speciality food stores. 
For those of you in Utah, Harmons sells Double Devon Cream. At their Draper store it is in the Deli refrigerator case by the fresh mozzarella and smoked salmon. If not, you can try your hand at making Clotted Cream yourself (click the link for the recipe)
Now go forth and stuff your o'face.

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