A day late, yes, but this is a recipe you’ll want to have all year. Sweet but not too sweet, dense and crumbly and yet moist, with the surprising flavor of caraway seed, this bread is just irresistible.
Irish soda bread is often so dry, dense, and sweet, I can’t say I’ve always been a fan. But when this version was served at a work function last week, I knew I had to get the recipe. It had been adapted over generations, brought over from Ireland, and finally translated into replicable measurements. I made a batch this morning to take to my ailing grandmother who has just been released from the hospital. I think half the loaf was gone before I left from my visit!
Irish Soda Bread
1/4 lb (one full stick) butter, softened
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons caraway seed
1.5 cups buttermilk
1 cup raisins
Bring a small pot of water to a boil, add raisins, turn off heat.
Cream butter and sugar together with a mixer. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and caraway seed in a separate bowl.
Once the butter is creamed, begin slowly adding the dry ingredients and then the buttermilk, alternating between the two about three times total, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Finally, strain the raisins and mix those in until everything is combined.
Turn into a well-greased loaf pan and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes-one hour — until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Bread? Appetizer? Dessert? All of the above :).