Irish Soda Bread
Servings: 12 servings
An easy Irish Soda Bread, closer to traditional Irish Bread than its American cousin. Bread flour, egg, butter, sugar and currants lighten and soften the loaf. Use a serrated knife to cut wedge-shaped pieces.
- 2 1/2 cups (10-ounces) King Arthur 100% White Whole Wheat Flour or King Arthur Irish-Style Wholemeal Flour (9-3/4 ounces)
- 1 1/4 cups (5 1/4-ounces) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
- 3 tablespoons (1 1/4-ounces) sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup (3-ounces) currants or raisins
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) cold butter, cut into 8 pieces
- 1 1/3 cups (10 5/8-ounces) buttermilk
- 1 large egg
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda, salt, and currants or raisins. Using a mixer, a pastry fork or blender, or your fingers, cut in the butter until it's evenly distributed and no large chunks remain. In a separate bowl (or in a measuring cup) whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix to combine. The dough will be stiff; if it's too crumbly to squeeze together, add another tablespoon or two of buttermilk. Knead the dough a couple of times to make sure it's holding together, then shape it into a ball. Flatten the ball slightly, and place the loaf in a lightly greased 8- or 9-inch round cake pan, or in a similar pan; it won't spread much, so the pan doesn't have to be large. Use a sharp knife to cut a 1/2-inch deep cross, extending all the way to the edges, atop the loaf. Bake the bread in a preheated 400°F oven for 45 to 55 minutes, until it's golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the bread from the oven, and brush the top with melted butter, if desired.