This sweeter, richer version of Irish soda bread is more in tune with American tastes than the traditional Irish bread, which simply combines flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. Still, it’s not as sweet as many American soda breads; chewy and light, most of its sweetness comes from its currants, and a crackly-crunchy sugar crust.
3 cups Perfect Pastry Blend OR King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
heaping 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup currants or raisins
1 tablespoon caraway seeds, optional
1 large egg
1 3/4 cups buttermilk*
4 tablespoons butter, melted
*No buttermilk in the house? Substitute 1 cup milk + 3/4 cup (one 6-ounce container) plain or vanilla yogurt
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon coarse white sparkling sugar
1) Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.
2) In a large bowl, whisk together the pastry blend or flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, currants, and caraway seeds.
3) In a separate bowl, or in a measuring cup, whisk together the egg and buttermilk (or milk and yogurt).
4) Quickly and gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
5) Stir in the melted butter.
6) Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Draw your finger around the edge of the pan to create a “moat.” Drizzle the bread with the 1 tablespoon of milk; the moat will help prevent the milk from running down the sides of the loaf. Sprinkle with the coarse sugar.
7) Bake the bread for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean; the interior of the bread will measure 200°F to 210° on an instant-read thermometer.
8) Remove the bread from the oven, loosen its edges, and after 5 minutes turn it out onto a rack to cool. Cool completely before slicing. Wrap airtight and store at room temperature.
Yield: 1 loaf.
10 mins. to 12 mins.
50 mins. to 60 mins.
60 mins. to 1 hrs 12 mins.
This recipe reprinted from The Baker’s Catalogue, Spring through Summer 2001.
Find more recipes on King Arthur Flour Making top-quality and consistently performing flour for over 200 years is no easy task, but King Arthur Flour takes such pride in their flour that they wouldn’t have it any other way.
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