Irish Soda Bread

It wouldn’t be an American St Patrick’s Day without some Irish soda bread.  This year I get to forgo making the corned beef and cabbage, something that I am secretly excited about, I can’t stand boiled cabbage, because my lovely Aunt Michelle has invited us over for the occasion, sparing me the task, and making room in my cooking schedule for something that I am much more excited about – Irish Soda Bread.

Irish soda bread is one of those recipes that I have kept playing around with, but never really settled on.  In the past I have done both savory soda breads and sweeter ones, dark rye soda breads and white soda breads, current studded soda breads and herb dotted soda breads.  This year’s soda bread, inspired by a recipe found in the Bread Bible, might just be the winner – a honey, Irish whiskey, and caraway infused soda bread with golden raisins.  The only thing that might make it better would be incorporating a different combination of flours to the mix, but I’ll leave that challenge for a later date.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups Golden Raisins or dried Currents
  • 1/2 cup Honey
  • 1/2 cup Irish Whiskey
  • 4 cups Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Caraway Seeds
  • 1/2 cup melted Butter
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • 2 Eggs beaten

Directions:

  1. Combine the raisins, honey, and whiskey in a small bowl, sand set them aside to meld for about half a hour before starting your bread.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 F (~ 190.5 C).
  3. Line or grease a baking sheet.
  4. Use a sieve/sifter to combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
  5. Stir in the caraway seeds.
  6. In a separate bowl whisk together the butter, eggs, and buttermilk.
  7. Stir in the raisin mixture.
  8. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and gently stir them together with a wooden spoon.
  9. Use your hands to briefly knead the dough together.
  10. Remove the dough from the bowl, and divide it into two large balls.
  11. Place the dough balls on the baking sheet, and score the tops of them with a large X.
  12. Bake them for 40-50 minutes, until they sound hollow when lightly tapped.

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