Ireland is not necessarily known for the food but one standout worth making for St. Patrick’s Day (or anytime) is this delicious – and easy – Irish Soda Bread. No yeast, and therefore rising, required, and I whipped the dough up in about 5 minutes, then it bakes in the oven for 45 minutes. This bread has a delicious soft texture with a crusty exterior, and is lightly sweetened with orange zest and currants. I ate 2 pieces right out of the oven with butter, so to restrain myself I immediately sliced it and threw it in a zip-lock into the freezer. It should make delicious toast.
Quick and Easy Irish Soda Bread (from a recipe by Ina Garten) (click here for printable recipe)
- 4 cups flour, plus extra for currants, board and hands for kneading
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 3/4 cups cold buttermilk, shaken (or use buttermilk substitute – 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, then fill measuring cup with milk to 1 3/4)
- 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest (I used the zest of 2 clementine oranges)
- 1 cup dried currants
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is mixed into the flour.
With a fork, lightly beat the buttermilk, egg, and orange zest together in a measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. Combine the currants with 1 tablespoon of flour and mix into the dough. It will be very wet.
Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and knead it a few times into a round loaf. Flour your hands generously as well – you may have to re-flour a few times. The dough will come together quickly with the extra flour – be sure not to over-knead.
Place the loaf on the prepared sheet pan and lightly cut an X into the top of the bread with a serrated knife.
Bake for 45 to 5o minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. When you tap the loaf, it will have a hollow sound.
Cool on a baking rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Plan B Mom is a mostly-stay-at-home mom of 3 who works from home but sees her main job as managing her family. When she is not taking care of her 11-year old and 9-year old girls, 8- year old son, two yellow labs, and husband – she is baking, running, carpooling, or helping with homework. She tries to stay organized to keep life running smoothly – or at least catastrophies at bay. Follow her on Twitter at @PlanBMom.