Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Irish Soda Bread

St. Patrick's Day is the 17th. of March.
This traditional Irish Fruit Bread 
is quick to make and packed with flavour.
A excellent combination of currants, 
orange rind and cranberries.

The buttermilk and baking soda together
is used for the leaven in the bread
 instead of yeast.

4 cups white flour
4 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4  cup cold unsalted butter diced
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
(if you don't have buttermilk, add 1 tsp.
of lemon juice per cup of milk.)
1 large egg
the zest of an orange
1/2 cup dried cranberries chopped
1/2 cup currants.

Preheat oven to 375 deg. F.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.

Cut in the butter to resemble coarse crumbs.

Add the orange rind, cranberries and currants
Mix into the four mixture with a fork.

Beat the egg and buttermilk together.

Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture; save
 a little to brush on the top of the loaf.

Knead the dough a few times on 
a floured board into a round loaf.
Warning... over kneading will cause tough bread.

Place on a cookie sheet or 
  in a cast iron skillet to bake.
I baked mine in a cast iron skillet in the oven.
Be careful when removing it from the oven 
not to grab the hot handle.

With a serrated knife cut an "X" into
the top of the bread (This helps with the cooking
of the bread in the middle)

Brush the top of the loaf with the reserved milk mixture

Bake 45-55 minutes. 375 deg. F.

Cool on a baking rack.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

The aroma in the kitchen while this bread is baking is divine....

Soda bread was introduced in the early 1800 in Ireland. There weren't any ovens back then. The bread was cooked in a big cast iron pot with a lid on it that would have been put right on the coals or onto the fire.

The great thing about soda bread is that is not so perishable and it would have been relatively inexpensive. Buttermilk was available from the cows (a by product of making butter). Wheat was grown at that time, so flour was available.   This info. from Epicurious, the history of soda bread.

Thanks for your visit xo

all pics are my sole original property

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