When I was a sophomore in college, I took a class on the history of Ireland. (This was years before I met Dave!) The culminating activity for that class was to have a lavish Irish feast at the home of the professor. I gleaned this recipe for Irish Soda Bread from that evening, as well as many fond memories; Dr. Wells was my favorite college professor of all time.
Irish Soda Bread
- 2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 t. baking powder
- 3/4 t. baking soda
- 1 t. salt
- 1/3 c. sugar
- 1 T. caraway seeds
- 3 T. butter
- 1 c. buttermilk or sour milk*
- 2/3 c. raisins, coarsely chopped
- 1 T. orange zest (grated orange peel)
- 1 T. melted butter
- 1 T. sugar
- 1/4 t. ground cinnamon
I always bake this in my medium-sized cast iron skillet. I’m not sure why. It turns out wonderfully, so I keep doing it.
Grease said skillet generously and set aside.
Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, 1/3 c. sugar, orange peel, and caraway seeds. Add cold butter and mix until crumbly. Pour in buttermilk and add raisins. Mix lightly. Turn out onto a floured board and knead gently a few times. Shape into a ball and place in skillet. Be careful not to overmix or overknead this dough. The less you mix it, the softer and lighter the bread will be.
Use a sharp knife or scissors to cut the dough crosswise into quarters, cutting about 2/3 of the way down through the dough. Brush with 1 T. melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mix.
Bake for 35-40 minutes at 375° until golden brown. Eat HOT with lots of butter.
This delicious soda bread is a MUST for your St. Patrick’s Day dinner.
*To sour milk, put 1 T. vinegar in a liquid measuring cup. Add enough milk to make one full cup. Let this sit and curdle for a couple of minutes before using it.