I have been using various recipes for Irish Soda Bread for many years. Over a decade ago, my daughter in Idaho sent me a recipe that came from the Irish grandmother of one of her former co-workers. It surpasses anything that I’d ever made before and I pass it along to you in preparation for St. Patrick’s Day next week.
1 ½ cups unbleached flour
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar
½ cup cold butter
½ cup raisins (she adds a bit more)
¼ cup caraway and fennel seeds mixed (she adds a bit more of this, too)
1 ½ cups buttermilk
Measure and combine dry ingredients.
Cut in butter with a pastry blender (or in a food processor).
Stir in desired amount of raisins and caraway/fennel. Stir in buttermilk.
Turn dough onto floured board and knead a few minutes, adding flour until dough is not too sticky.
Form into a ball and place in greased and floured round baking pan. Cut a deep cross on top.
Bake at 375 for 45 minutes, brush top with simple syrup made of sugar, water, nutmeg and continue baking a few more minutes.
Let cool 15-20 minutes before removing from pan.
Add a big pot of corned beef, cabbage, carrots, onions, and peppercorns so you’ll think you are back in old Ireland.
A hui hou!