Irish Soda Bread is a quick bread not yeast bread. It's chemically leavened with baking soda and baking powder. It is quick and easy to prepare and is a lovely loaf to serve with everyday meals.
This loaf is very versatile. You may add 1/2 a cup of any of the following, seeds, oats, whole grains, craisins, chopped nuts, or any combination.
This loaf is best served on the day that it is made. Use any leftovers as toast the next morning drizzled with honey.
Makes two loaves.
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into cubes
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, or yogurt (you may wish to use fruit flavored)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup raisins (optional)
1 egg, beaten
Turbinado sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until fully combined.
Cut butter into flour mixture until it looks like coarse crumbs.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and buttermilk, or yogurt. Pour buttermilk/yogurt mixture over flour mixture. Add the raisins if you are using them.
Stir this mixture just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Dust the mixture with flour and knead in the bowl for three or four turns. Knead only until dough clings together.
Divide into two equal pieces and form each into a round loaf.
Place each piece of dough onto opposite ends of the parchment-lined baking sheet.
With a sharp knife cut a 3 inch cross into the top of each loaf about 1/2 inch deep.
Brush the loaves with the beaten egg and sprinkle the tops with turbinado sugar.
Place the loaves into the pre-heated oven.
Bake the loaves for approximately 35 minutes.
The Irish Soda Bread loaves are done when the tops are golden brown and bottoms sound hollow when lightly tapped.
Remove the Irish Soda Bread loaves from the oven and turn out onto cooling racks.
These loaves may be served warm or completely cooled.
These loaves make wonderful house warming gifts wrapped up in a new, clean napkin, and tied with a bow.
Want something different in your lunch bag? Then try packing up a few slices of this bread with some very thinly sliced apples, and cinnamon sugar. Store the apple slices in a baggy until ready to eat then place in the sandwich.
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