Ingredients for a loaf of Irish soda bread can be quickly mixed and ready for the oven in less than 15 minutes, but this St. Patrick’s Day favorite is not foolproof. A moist, flavorful loaf requires a sticky dough, which, unfortunately, often comes out of the oven with a gooey center and a crust so hard it presents a dental hazard.
One solution is to form individual biscuits from the Irish soda bread dough. With biscuits, the centers will bake completely before the crust develops a Blarney-Stone density. As an added benefit, the biscuits have a slightly longer shelf life than the traditional rounded loaf.
Once the crust of an Irish soda bread loaf is cut, the interior rapidly deteriorates. After a day, just the pressure of a butter knife will reduce a slice to a pile of crumbs.
While Irish soda bread is best fresh from the oven, when made as biscuits, it will hold for up to two days when wrapped in wax paper.
Irish Soda Bread Biscuits
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch cake pans, bottom and sides
In a large mixing bowl combine:
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup butter
Form a well in the center of the flour mixture and add:
- 2 cups milk
Rapidly fold in the flour, mixing with the milk until thoroughly combined. The resulting dough will be sticky. Gather the dough into a ball and place on a flour-dusted work surface. Sprinkle more flour over the surface of the dough and pat it into a 1/2 inch thick disc. Cut biscuits with a 3-inch biscuit cutter or a drinking glass. Arrange biscuits in the greased cake pans allowing them to touch.
Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and cover with a dish towel as they cool for a softer crust.
Nutrition facts: 1 Irish soda bread biscuit - 186 calories, 5.9g total fat, 29.3g carbohydrates, 3.9g protein