Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My *Famous* Irish Soda Bread Recipe

Those who have tried this...know!  It's totally o'yum!  I'll post the recipe today so if you need to get ingredients to make it tomorrow, St. Patrick's Day!  It's best when eaten the same day, or preferably fresh out of the oven, slathered in butter!  And note:  my Irish Soda Bread is a bit less traditional--mine is sweeter, more flavorful, scone-like in texture, and no caraway added (unless you want it) if you're going for strict authenticity, this is not it.  However I've had a professional breadmaker friend of mine tell me she likes this better than traditional Irish soda bread...and she's IRISH! 

Carol's Irish Soda Bread

Preheat over to 375 degrees.

Sift into bowl:
2 cups sifted all purpose or cake flour (cake flour yields a somewhat finer texture)
1 1.2 tesp. double-acting baking powder
1 tesp. baking soda
1/4 cup sugar

Cut into flour mixture until it has the consistency of coarse cornmeal:
1/4 cup chilled shortening

Stir in:
1 cup dried fruit, chopped (I use a combo of apricots, plums, figs)
2 teasp. caraway seed (optional)

Mix together and then add to dry ingredients:
1 beaten egg
2/3 cup of buttermilk

Stir well and knead briefly.  Place in greased (Pam'd) 10 inch round pie baking dish.  Press dough down to fill bottom of dish evenly.  Brush with milk lightly, sprinkle with sugar (I use raw sugar for the large crystal chunks), but regular sugar will do.  Cut a bold cross over the top so bread will not crack in baking. 

Bake 35 - 40 minutes until top is golden brown and inserted toothpick in middle comes out clean. 

ENJOY!  And Happy St. Patricks Day!
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