Irish Soda Bread is delicious any time of year, but as we get closer to St. Patrick’s Day, it only makes sense that the bread works its way into your meals. The bread gets its name from the baking soda used to leaven the bread instead of yeast. This version from Food Network is a little more Americanized than the true Irish recipe, with sugar and currants, but it’s still a great way to celebrate the holiday at home.
• 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
• 3 tablespoons sugar
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
• 2/3 cup dried currants
• 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
• 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
• 1 large egg
• Irish butter, for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8-inch round cake pan with a large sheet of parchment paper, pressing it into the edges of the pan and leaving an overhang on 2 sides (the extra parchment will help you unmold the loaf later).
2. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter cubes to the flour mixture and toss to combine. Use a pastry blender or your fingertips to cut or rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Stir in the currants and caraway seeds.
3. Whisk the buttermilk and egg together in a separate bowl or liquid measuring cup. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the buttermilk mixture into the center. Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to stir the mixture until it comes together in a shaggy mass.
4. Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Turn the dough mixture out onto the floured surface and knead a few times to bring it together. Shape it into a domed disk. Place the dough into the prepared cake pan and cut a cross about 1/2-inch deep into the surface of the dough with a sharp knife. Bake until the top is puffed and lightly browned and a cake tester comes out clean, 60 to 75 minutes.
5. Remove from the oven and use the parchment overhang to lift the bread from the pan. Place on a wire rack to cool completely. Serve with good Irish butter.
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