Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Being a redhead with light skin and freckles, this is my favorite holiday. :)
This bread is a cross between a scone and a round loaf. I like it because it is sweet, thanks to the orange zest and currents, and fun to pull off the smaller triangles from the whole. Traditionally, this recipe is made with caraway seeds, but my kids don’t like the seeds, so I opted to leave it out this time. You can leave them in and be a traditionalist, or take them out and be a nonconformist.
What’s great about this loaf is there is no yeast, no proofing, no hours resting and rising. It’s similar to a scone in that you mix it all together and bake. This recipe makes two loaves, so you can enjoy one and freeze the other, or enjoy one and bring the other to your neighbor or friend. Share the love and the luck. Enjoy! xoxo
Irish Soda Bread
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 55-60 minutes
Serving: 8 large pieces
4 c flour
⅓ c sugar
1 T baking powder
½ t baking soda
1 t salt
2 ¼ t caraway seeds (optional)
2 T finely zested orange
1 c currants
¾ c cold, unsalted butter
1 c + 2 T buttermilk
Egg wash (1 egg white + 1 T water, whisked)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk gently to combine. Using a wooden spatula, add the orange zest, currants, and caraway seeds (if using).
Cut butter with a knife into small squares. Dump into the dry ingredients, and using your hands or a pastry knife, mix the butter until the butter is smaller, almost cornmeal-like. Make a well in the center and add ¾ of the buttermilk (not ¾ cup). I just eye-balled it. Using a wooden spoon, mix the buttermilk into the dry mixture. Add enough remaining buttermilk for the dough to come together; you may have some leftover.
Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in two. Using your hands, gently gather the dough together to form a dome. With a knife or bench scraper, press gently into the dough forming four even quadrants, scoring the loaf. Press down almost all the way to the bottom of the disc.
Transfer each disc to the jelly roll pan. Using a pastry brush, coat the tops of each loaf with the egg wash. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until edges are slightly brown.
Cool on a rack slightly before tearing the scored chunks off and eating. Store any leftovers in plastic wrap up to three days.
Recipe Source: Adapted slightly from Grand Central Bakery