Sunday, March 22, 2009

Irish Soda Bread

Last weekend I actually made two types of Irish Soda Bread: A more traditional one and the one pictured above with fruit in it. Both were delicious, but I think this was the better of the two, served plain or with some Irish butter.

1 cup golden raisins and/or currants
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups cake flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. fine salt
4 TBS cold unsalted butter cut into small cubes
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Put the raisins and currants in a bowl and cover with hot water for 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cake flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the butter using your hands and work it into flour mixture. Stir in the currants.

Add the buttermilk and stir with a spatula, just until the flour is moistened and comes together in a shaggy dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead lightly until just smooth, about 2 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and place on the center of the prepared baking sheet.

Using a sharp knife cut a 1/4-inch-deep "X" into the top of the dough. Bake until well browned, about 1 hour.

(adapted from a Food Network recipe)