Friday, March 24, 2017

Irish Soda Bread

8%.

According to Ancestry DNA that's how much Irish DNA I have in me. Now, my great-grandfather came to America directly from Ireland, but as you can see while I grew up celebrating Irish heritage when you break it down to genes I'm only a whopping 8%. This has become particularly funny because a few years before I had this knowledge, I decided to get three shamrocks tattooed on my right wrist. So now I say that my wrist accounts for my 8% Irish heritage.

But this won't deter me from making Irish Soda Bread every year. Growing up I thought there was something extra special in the ingredients. Soda bread?! Is there Sprite or club soda in it?! Spoiler Alert: No! It's just that the leavening agent is baking soda. There's your soda. But it does have raisins in it and 4 tablespoons of sugar which makes this a tad sweet that pairs perfectly with cold fresh butter. I typically would have this with tea or coffee as a snack, and not as a bread with dinner but you can do what you want.

- 4 cups flour
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 3/4 cups cold buttermilk, shaken
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 cup raisins


1. Heat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. If you don't have parchment, I just greased the bottom of my pan so the bread won't stick.

2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt with an electric mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low until the butter is combined.

3. Lightly beat the egg in the buttermilk and with the mixer on low speed pour into flour mixture. Mix the raisins in a tablespoon of flour and add into the dough.

4. Flour your counter-top and your hands. Dump the dough on the flour and lightly knead a few times until you get a round loaf. It will be very sticky at first so make sure you have enough flour so it doesn't stick to your hands.

5. Place the loaf onto the baking sheet and cut an 'X' into the top with a serrated knife. Bake for 50-55 minutes, until a knife comes out clean.

Source: Barefoot Contessa


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