Irish Soda Bread

Before I got married, St. Patrick’s Day was usually celebrated by putting on a green shirt at the last minute during my school days and then when I was older celebrating with the rest of the city of Chicago doing pub crawls and observing the green dyed Chicago River. Well after marrying my Irish husband, I decided I would share some of his ethnic traditions. Although I really have not mastered corned beef and cabbage, I have tried a few Irish Soda bread recipes the past 10 years and think this one might be the winner.

No surprise to me, it was a Barefoot Contessa recipe. When St. Patrick’s day was approaching I was browsing in my books for recipes and found her Irish Soda bread. Why not give it a try, Ina claims she has tried several different recipes and really enjoys this one. With the addition of orange zest and currants who can go wrong.

It was so easy and quite delicious If I can say so myself. Just be aware it is a very wet dough so don’t think you did something wrong. I actually substituted 1/2 of the white flour for wheat flour and used powdered buttermilk. So whether you are Irish or just want to pretend you are this one day, try this Irish soda bread. However, I think I will make it again through out the year,  as it was very much enjoyed as a warm and quick breakfast bread at my house.

Irish Soda Bread Recipe
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for currants
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch diced
  • 1¾ cups cold buttermilk, shaken
  • 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 cup dried currants
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  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is mixed into the flour.
  3. With a fork, lightly beat the buttermilk, egg, and orange zest together in a measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. Combine the currants with 1 tablespoon of flour and mix into the dough. It will be very wet.
  4. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and knead it a few times into a round loaf. Place the loaf on the prepared sheet pan and lightly cut an X into the top of the bread with a serrated knife. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. When you tap the loaf, it will have a hollow sound.
  5. Cool on a baking rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.


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