Irish Soda Bread


You all know of my love for good bread.  While not everyone would agree with me about quick breads being good bread, they are just stupids!

Since I was born a McNett, you can imagine there’s a bit of Irish racing through these veins.  We have always celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in a very big way.  Just wait until you try my Corned Beef recipe.  You must have things to go along with an Irish feast though, so I began my search for all things necessary to a good Irish dinner.

My favorite grandchild, you know the one, fell in love with this bread.  He loves it so much, when he’s up visiting the cabin he always asks to make it.  He even made the most beautiful bread knife worthy of cutting said bread.

My cooking and entertaining hero, supplied the recipe.  Ina Garten, I love you.  The first time I made it I have to admit the orange zest gave me pause, but I cannot imagine this bread without it.  The only thing better than orange zest is tangerine.  And, how often can you have fresh bread for dinner in an hour!

Irish Soda Bread

4 cups flour

4 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

4 tablespoons cold butter, cubed

1 ¾ cup buttermilk

1 egg

1 tsp orange zest

1 cup currants

Combine dry ingredients in mixer.  Add butter and mix until combined.  Beat together buttermilk, egg, and zest, and slowly add to dry mix.  Lightly toss currants with 1 tablespoon flour and add. Turn onto a floured board and knead a few times to form a round loaf.  Place on cookie sheet.  Make an “X” cut on top of loaf.  Bake at 375 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes.

*  From the Recipe box:

This is Ina Garten’s recipe and it is the best soda bread recipe I’ve found so far, although Donata’s is a close second.  We make it every St. Patrick’s Day and quite a few days in-between.  I love the crust.  Not pull your teeth out type that a crusty baguette can be, but a firm crumbly one with a lot of body and flavor.

I like it with currants, but Chris and Greg are firm proponents of no added fruit.  If you do go with the currants, soak them in warm water for 15 minutes to plump them up and then pat them dry.  Toss them with a little flour before combining with the dough.

The bread doesn’t keep well so eat up, buttercup.

Great toasted with honey or the Thomas favorite spread, Jif.

and remember:  Know when it’s time to give up and have a Martini.  Big kiss, Lynn


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