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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Irish Soda Bread with Raisins

Although it is not the traditional recipe, this makes a sweet tasty loaf of bread that tastes great for breakfast.

4 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp Salt
3 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Soda
1/4 cup Sugar
2 cups Currants or Raisins
4 TB Unsalted Butter, cold
1 Egg, slightly beaten
1-3/4 cup Buttermilk or Sour Milk
1 TB Milk
Sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375° F. (If you are using dark nonstick pans, preheat oven to 350° F.

Combine flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and sugar. Add butter and cut in until crumbly. Stir in the currants.

Combine egg and buttermilk and add to dry ingredients. Stir until blended.

Turn the dough out onto a wooden board sprinkled with flour. Knead the dough for a minute, no longer. If the dough is a little sticky, dust with some extra flour. Take care not to overwork the dough, or the bread will be tough.

Divide dough in half and shape each into a round loaf. Place each loaf into an 8-inch round cake pan. Cut a cross on top of each loaf, about 1/2-inch deep. Then brush each with milk and sprinkle sugar on the top.

Bake 35-40 minutes until golden. Remove from pans and cool on a wire rack. Slice to serve.

Note: This bread freezes well. Double wrap in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag.

If you don’t keep buttermilk on hand, you can make it yourself. Mix 3 tablespoons white vinegar and add milk until you have required amount for recipe. Allow to sit on the counter for 15 to 20 minutes to give it time to curdle.

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