Irish Soda Bread

I love making this bread because it’s so quick to put together. Soda breads don’t use any yeast, instead relying on the buttermilk and soda to make it rise. Even though it has a crusty outside, the middle is nice and soft. And plus it’s a common St Patrick’s Day bread! (Maybe one of the only “traditional” Irish foods that I actually like haha)

Ingredients

  • 1 and 3/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 and 1/4 cups flour, plus more for your hands and counter
  • 3 Tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 Tablespoons butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 cup raisins/dried cranberries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. There are options for the baking pan. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, use a seasoned 10-12 inch cast iron skillet or grease a 9-10 inch cake pan or pie dish. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the buttermilk and egg together. Set aside. Whisk the flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter, a fork, or your fingers. Work the dough until into coarse crumbs, then stir in the dried fruit. Pour in the buttermilk/egg mixture. Gently fold the dough together until dough it is too stiff to stir. Pour crumbly dough onto a lightly floured work surface. With floured hands, work the dough into a ball as best you can, then knead for about 30 seconds or until all the flour is moistened. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour.
  3. Transfer the dough to the prepared skillet/pan. Using a very sharp knife, score an X into the top. Bake until the bread is golden brown and center appears cooked through, about 45 minutes. (Loosely cover the bread with aluminum foil if you notice heavy browning on top. I usually place foil on top halfway through bake time.)
  4. Remove from the oven and allow bread to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm, at room temperature, or toasted with desired toppings/spreads.
  5. Cover and store leftover bread at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

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