It’s that time of year again when green is the color du jour and everyone, including your pappy, is attempting to talk with an Irish brogue. Yep, it will soon be St. Patrick’s Day. Time for drinking Guinness and Irish whiskey, eating corned beef and cabbage, and let’s not forget the Irish soda bread. This quick and easy bread can be whipped up in no time.
Make it first thing in the morning with cranberries and orange zest to enjoy with your coffee and Bailey’s Irish Cream, or make a savory loaf with caraway seeds and raisins to go with a traditional stew. However you celebrate this spring holiday, just remember soda bread doesn’t have to be made just in March. Enjoy the bread year round when you want a simple and quick homemade bread without the hours of waiting.
Irish Soda Bread
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour, or graham flour (alternately, you can use all all-purpose flour)
2 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon butter, room temperature
3/4 cup + 1 teaspoon buttermilk
2 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Irish Whiskey
Optional: 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel, 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds, 1/4 cup golden raisins, dried blueberries, dried cranberries, or other small dried fruit
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and orange peel or caraway seeds, if using, whisk together. Add butter and, using your finger tips, rub together until small crumbs form. Add raisins or other dried fruit if you are using them.
Mix together buttermilk and 2 tablespoons Irish Whiskey, stir well. Stir into dry ingredients only until moistened. Turn dough out onto floured surface (dough will be sticky) knead briefly.
Shape into round loaf and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Flatten loaf slightly. Using a sharp knife or razor blade, cut a cross in the top of the loaf. Mix 1 teaspoon Irish Whiskey with remaining buttermilk and brush the top of the unbaked bread with the mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes or until golden and bread sounds hollow when thumped on bottom. Cool bread on wire rack. Cut into wedges and serve slightly warm.