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March 18, 2011

Irish Soda Bread

4 c. ap flour (plus more for the raisins & flouring the board)
4 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter (diced)
1 3/4 c. cold buttermilk (shaken well)
1 extra-large egg (of course we use fresh brown eggs from our chickens)
2 tsp freshly grated orange zest
1 c. raisins (currants are more traditional...but they don't carry them in a lot of grocery stores)

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (350 if using a convection oven). 
  • Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil (shiny side down).
  • 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 raisins 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. 
  • 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 55 minutes, or until a skewer 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.

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