March 16, 2021
St. Patrick’s Day is this week, and this sweet twist on traditional Irish Soda Bread is a must have at the dinner table. The taste is spot on. The texture is different as this bread is made in a loaf pan, more of a moist quick-bread than the drier round bread we have all grown to appreciate. The raisins and the caraway seeds make this loaf the perfect addition to your meal of corned beef and cabbage. And the sugar sprinkled on the top is a great addition to an old favorite.
This year, as Covid restrictions are still affecting our lives, it is more important than ever to take to our kitchens to celebrate with family. As you probably have figured out, the baking of the soda bread is my favorite part, and this year I am excited to bake this new variation for my family.
No mixer is needed, just a bowl, your hands (you can wear gloves) and a wooden spoon. It can’t get easier than that. So hopefully if you make a delicious meal for St. Patricks Day you won’t forget to serve this delicious quick-bread.
Irish Soda Quick-Bread
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 cup raisins
1 1/2 tablespoons caraway seeds
Turbinado (or dark brown) sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350º F. Generously grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Make a parchment sling so that you can easily remove loaf after it is baked. Soak the raisins in hot water for 15-20 minutes, then drain and dry well. This water bath will plump them up.
Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Cut the butter into small cubes and mix thoroughly with the flour mixture. I use my hands for this, squeezing the butter into smaller pieces as it mixes with the flour. The mixture should look grainy. Stir in the raisins and the caraway seeds.
Add the buttermilk and egg to the flour mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon until well combined. When the batter looks thick, pour it into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle the top with the some turbinado sugar.
Bake for 60-70 minutes. Test with a wooden skewer. If the skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean, the cake is done. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Lift loaf out of the pan and let it cool on a metal rack.