I have often been intimidated by yeast breads so more often than not I make cakes or quick breads instead. I feel like I can tackle the latter with more ease and confidence. I know I need to overcome this fear and attempt to make even an ordinary loaf soon – definitely before summer comes as it would be intolerable to turn the oven on during the warmer months.
However before I do so I thought I ought to make Irish Soda Bread first and see if I can actually make one. I know it doesn’t require yeast or a lot of kneading so perhaps it won’t be so difficult at all. Besides, I promised the kids I would make them some proper bread this weekend so now I cannot back out.
I am glad I made it and it came out fine despite my lack of skills in bread-making. This can only mean that anyone can also make this bread. And yes, it can look as lovely as the photo, too. It does’t take a lot of skills to make this and you can impress anyone with your work. So whether or not you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this bread is a delicious addition to your table. It’s perfect served warm so you can enjoy that delicious freshly baked taste. Spread a little butter on it and oh, it’s so good. This bread is also best eaten in the same day it’s made. It’s quite a big round loaf so the entire family and perhaps even some friends can all enjoy this so feel free to share.
Now, I am all set to conquer my fear of making yeast breads! Until the next baking adventure!
Irish Soda Bread
By: Manila Spoon
March 14, 2015
This is an easy to make bread made even more flavorful with the addition of sweet raisins. Enjoy for tea time or with your coffee.
- 4 cups all-purpose Flour
- 1/2-1 cup Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 1/3 cups Buttermilk
- 1/3 cup unsalted Butter, melted
- 1 large Egg, lightly beaten
- 1 cup raisins
Note: You can adjust the sweetness to your taste. If you want it less sweet, just decrease the sugar to about 1/2-3/4 cup. I used the full 1 cup and those who tried it liked it that way.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients – flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- Mix together the buttermilk, melted butter and lightly beaten egg in another bowl.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Pour the liquid ingredients into the well. Stir to form a soft dough. It will be quite sticky.
- Add the raisins and mix lightly. Do not overmix.
- Transfer the bread to a greased baking sheet, springform pan or to be more traditional, in a 9- to 10-inch cast iron skillet. Shape into a ball. You may also cut an X across the top, if you wish.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 50-60 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
- Let it cool in the pan or skillet for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for a few more minutes. I read that you can also cover the bread with a dish towel while it’s cooling on a wire rack. This should help maintain the tenderness of the crust.
Enjoy warm with some butter and jam!
- Note: If you’re not using an iron cast skillet for cooking (which I did) you may need to reduce the baking time (using the cast iron takes a little longer). Check the bread at 40 minutes to see if it’s already done.
Yield: 1 large Loaf, 26 slices
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cooking Time: 50 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour and 10 Minutes
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