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Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread is the perfect accompaniment to Corned Beef and Cabbage, and Irish Guinness Steak Pie, which I’ll be making for St. Patrick’s Day this year. The raisins in it give it a little sweetness, but not too much. It’s not difficult to make, it just takes some time for the bread to rise.

*NOTE ABOUT WARM BUTTERMILK: Warmed buttermilk will appear curdled. This is normal.

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Prep Time: 2 Hours
Cook Time: 35 Minutes
Total Time: 2 Hours and 35 Minutes
Servings: 1 loaf

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg (1/4 oz) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110°F to 115°F)
  • 3 Tbsp sugar, divided
  • 1 cup warm buttermilk (110°F to 115°F)
  • 2 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins (you can use regular raisins if you don't have golden)

Instructions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl dissolve yeast in warm water with 1 tsp. sugar; let stand for 5 minutes until the yeast is dissolved and it begins to foam.

  2. Beat in the buttermilk, butter, remaining sugar, baking soda, salt and 1 cup flour until smooth. Stir in raisins and enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45-55 minutes.

  3. Once dough has doubled in size, punch dough down, turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead for 2 minutes. Shape into a round loaf. Place on a greased baking sheet. With a serrated or sharp knife, cut a 1/4-inch deep "x" on top of the loaf. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.

  4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from pan to cool on a wire rack.

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