Friday, February 12, 2010

Irish Soda Bread (with currants)

As you all know, I am not a baker let alone a bread maker. I leave that job for my husband. But since he is away and I was having a craving for soda bread, I had to make it myself. I was very close to buying a ready made bread mix at the store; all I had to do was add water, but when I saw Ina Garten make this bread on her show, I figured I would give it a try. I used butter instead of shortening in my recipe but the outcome was still good. What I really like about this recipe is that in less than an hour you can have freshly baked soda bread for your family.

INGREDIENTS (makes one loaf)

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons solid shortening such as Crisco (I used unsalted butter)
  • 2/3 cup currants mixed with 1 tablespoon of flour
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and sugar. Using a pastry blender or fingertips, work the shortening into the flour until the consistency is the same as that of small peas. Stir in the raisins and caraway and mix to distribute evenly. Gradually stir in the buttermilk, 1/4 cup at a time, using only enough to allow the dough to come together. Knead the dough for 1 to 2 minutes. Shape the dough into a round loaf and place on a greased baking sheet. Cut an X on the top and over the sides of the loaf. Bake for 45 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a rack.

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