Thursday, March 17, 2011

Irish Soda Bread

Cooking Irish food is something of a love story in my non-Irish family. My Nanny T. (not Irish) used to make corned beef and cabbage for my Poppa T. and my dad grew up loving it. Subsequently, my mother (also not Irish) would make corned beef and cabbage every St. Patty's Day for my dad and my sister and I grew up to love it. Actually, my favorite part is the cold leftovers the next day, but that is neither here nor there. When I only make something once a year, I don't want to gussy it up or change it around too much. I like my Irish Soda Bread in the decidedly Irish-American way, loaded with raisins and caraway seeds. As a special twist, I did soak my golden raisins in whiskey before adding them. Perfect for breakfast. I hope you all have a very happy, safe, and college basketball-filled St. Patty's Day!
Irish Soda Bread
2 1/2 cups white flour
2 cup wheat flour
4 Tbs. cold butter
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbs. sugar
1 2/3 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup golden raisins
1 Tbs. whiskey
3 Tbs. caraway seeds
1. In a small bowl add raisins with a cup of hot water and the whiskey. Allow to sit for 5 minutes to macerate.
2. Cut the butter into cubes.
3. In the bowl of your food processor combine both flours, baking soda and sugar and pulse to aerate and combine them. Then add the butter and pulse about 10 times until the butter is mixed through and it is the consistency of coarse, wet sand.
4. Dump the flour mixture into a large bowl. Stir in the caraway seeds and oats. Strain the golden raisins and add them. Mix them into the mixture well.
5. Make a well and add the buttermilk and slightly beaten egg and stir together with a wooden spoon until well combined.
6. Dump mixture out onto a board a knead for 20 seconds or so and form into a round loaf.
7. Line a cast iron pan with parchment paper and place the loaf into the pan.
8. Use a serrated knife to cut and "X" into the top.
9. bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 45 minutes to a hour or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Serve up with butter and honey and enjoy!

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