Let me tell you all about Irish Soda Bread and why it’s the best thing ever.
- It’s Irish. I’m just guessing here, but let’s go with it.
- It uses baking soda instead of yeast to rise up and become all yummy. So, I’m imagining that’s why it’s called soda bread. Makes sense, right?
- Because it doesn’t use yeast, it doesn’t require any annoying rise time, so the whole delicious loaf can be made start to finish in an hour and fifteen minutes. And an hour of that is baking in the oven.
Want to see what’s inside?
Dried fruit stuff! I think I see regular raisins, golden raisins, apricots, and somethings else unidentifiable. You can just use raisins if you want, but I saw this “dried fruit medley” in the bulk food section and just couldn’t help myself. They look like little jewels.
The fruit pieces add a bit of chewy texture to the loaf, while the caraway seeds impart a wonderful rustic flavor that compliments the sweetness of the fruit.
This recipe calls for buttermilk, but if you don’t have any just add a splash of vinegar to some regular milk and let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes or so before using it in the recipe.
This is essentially like making one huge drop biscuit. Just whisk together the dry ingredients, use a pastry blender or fork to cut in some cold butter, then mix together the wet ingredients and combine it all together.
Dump it onto a pan lined with parchment paper, and bake for an hour.
Because this recipe calls for just a tablespoon of heavy cream, I felt the need to do something with the rest of the carton so I decided to whip up (pun intended) some homemade butter.
Now, before you run away screaming, hear me out. It’s really easy. Just put the heavy cream in a mason jar, put the lid on, and shake the crap out of it for 6 or 7 minutes until it forms a big ball of butter in the center of some murky looking liquid.
If the cream is at room temperature first, it will turn into butter a lot faster. It will turn into whipping cream first, but don’t stop there – keep shaking until the fat totally separates from the whey.
Dump the contents of the jar out into a fine mesh sieve (or cheesecloth, or coffee filter if you’re really desperate) and run some very cold water over it. Put the butter back in the jar, and use a spoon or spatula to press out any remaining liquid. Rinse it in the sieve again, then just stir in some salt and you’ve got delicious buttah.
See how easy that was? It tastes approximately 8 or 9 thousand times better than store-bought butter. Mine keeps just fine in the fridge until I use it (a week or so).
Now just spread that creamy delicious butter onto a slice of warm, savory bread.
This loaf did not last very long in our house. We had it with some awesome lentil soup, then I ate quite a bit of the bread later in the week alternately as dessert and breakfast.
The caraway seeds give it a really distinctive German flavor and make you feel all sorts of fancy and worldly. And I know how you like to feel fancy and worldly.
So go on and make a loaf this weekend!
Here’s Your Recipe!
15 minPrep Time
60 minCook Time
1 hr, 15 Total Time
- 4 c. bread flour (or use all-purpose)
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 Tbsp. whole caraway seeds
- 4 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter
- 2 c. small dried fruit pieces (such as raisins)
- 1 1/2 c. buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 Tbsp. heavy cream
- Preheat your oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and caraway seeds.
- Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut the cold butter into the dry mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Stir in the dried fruit.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, whole egg, and baking soda.
- Pour the liquid into the flour mixture, then stir with fork until the mixture holds together.
- Using your hands, press it into a round dome-shaped loaf and place it on a baking sheet.
- In small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and cream. Brush this mixture over the loaf. Use a sharp knife to make large "X" about a 1/2 inch deep over the top.
- Bake, rotating halfway through, 60 minutes. Cool on rack.