Sweet Irish Soda Bread
Sweet Irish Soda Bread Recipe, perfect for Saint Patrick’s Day. Two tender loaves of slightly sweet bread speckled with traditional raisins and caraway.
If I remember correctly, we ate fish and chips and Irish stew. Yet what really caught my attention was the soda bread. It was moist and dense with a slight sweetness that didn’t overshadow the soda flavor… I’ve been working on a comparable recipe ever since.
While I like the appearance of the free-form, cross-topped, savory versions of soda bread, I prefer the sugary note and texture of “loaf pan” varieties.
The flavor of this Sweet Irish Soda Bread recipe gently balances strong, savory Irish dishes.
It’s hearty, with a surprisingly delicate taste.
This is no utilitarian loaf. It’s a quick-bread with a sense of warmth and personality.
A stand-alone soloist, that needs no back-up singers, but will happily join in the choir!
After testing numerous dry, crumbly versions, I believe I’ve finally found a winner.
This Sweet Irish Soda Bread, adapted from Brother Rick Curry’s The Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking, is delightful and just as I remember it so many years ago.
To take it to another level, serve this Sweet Irish Soda Bread warm with rich, tangy Irish butter from a specialty food market.
Half a loaf is better than no bread at all. ~ An Irish Proverb
Sweet Irish Soda Bread
- 5 cups all-purpose flour sifted
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 2 1/2 cups raisins, mixed light and dark
- 3 tablespoons caraway seeds
- Turbinado sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter two 9x5-inch bread pans. Soak the raisins in hot water for 15-20 minutes, then drain well.
- Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Cut the butter into cubes and mix very thoroughly with the flour, by hand, until it looks grainy. Stir in the drained raisins and caraway seeds.
- Add the buttermilk and egg to the flour mixture. Stir well. The dough should resemble thick cake batter. Equally fill 2 loaf pans. Then sprinkle the top of each with turbinado sugar to make it shimmery.
- Bake for 60-70 minutes. Test with a toothpick for doneness. Cool in the pans for 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
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