Irish soda bread has been made for hundreds of years on the proudly dubbed 'Emerald Isle'. It is a savory yet scrumptious bread that has roughly the same consistency as a scone and is super easy to make. It is a big muffin-like loaf with a crust as rugged as Ireland itself. Originally it was cooked over a peat fire in a cast iron skillet and while you probably won't be cooking over peat, you can cook it in a cast iron skillet (it's just fine to place it on a baking sheet or cake pan too). Feel free to add nuts or fresh herbs such as rosemary or thyme for a different flavor experience. In any case, do make it because after dinner leftovers make wonderful breakfast toast!!
Irish Soda bread
4 cups of flour
1 ½ t salt
1 t of baking soda
2 c buttermilk
½ c currants or raisins (golden or dark)
1 t caraway seeds, save some for the top if you like!
1 T melted butter, for brushing the top
cooking oil spray for greasing the pan (PAM)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a cast iron skillet, large baking sheet or cake pan. In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, and baking soda. Stir in the buttermilk, caraway seeds and currants (if you are adding nuts or herbs, they go in now too) with a wooden spoon until it has reached a doughy consistency and holds together like a rough mass. Dump out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute or so. Pat it into an 8" round, 1 1/2" thick. Slash a ¼ " deep X across the top center of the dough (as legend says, to keep the evil spirits away). Place the dough in the skillet, cake pan or baking sheet and place in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes. You will know it is done because of its light brown coloring and because the X has spread apart. Take it out of the oven and let it cool covered in a kitchen towel. Serve, breaking it apart into quarters, with some good Irish butter and enjoy!
Voted Best Caterer for Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties 2016