Irish soda bread, or that which I know it, is not exactly 100% Irish. The original recipe called for merely flour, baking soda, buttermilk and salt, which is a bit plain compared to the juiced up versions with anything from raisins to chocolate hawked at fine purveyors around the nation. Butter was only added on special occasions, and raisins were added as a treat at the end of the harvest, sometimes.
Here is a slightly Irish, slightly American, 100% natural recipe that is sure to delight. Happy Saint Patrick's Day, btw.
- 5 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes, room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups raisins
- 3 tablespoons caraway seeds
- 2 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- Jameson or other Irish whiskey
- Night before: Soak the raisins in an air-tight container filled with 1 part water, 1 part Jameson Irish Whiskey
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Butter a 10 or 9 inch round or square pain. I used a bundt cake type pan.
- Strain whiskey from raisins.
- Whisk first 5 ingredients in large bowl to blend.
- Add butter using finger tips and mix in.
- Stir in raisins and caraway seeds.
- Whisk buttermilk and egg in medium bowl to blend.
- Add to flour mixture using a wooden spoon and mix until just mixed.
- Transfer dough to prepared pan; smooth top, mounding slightly in center.
- Bake until bread is cooked through and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes.
- Cool bread in skillet 10 minutes.
- Turn out onto rack and cool completely. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap tightly in foil; store at room temperature.)