Just in time for St. Paddy's Day-a recipe for Irish Soda Bread. Okay, soda bread can be a little, well- ho -hum, so I've taken the liberty of adding a bit of sugar making it a bit more suited to American palates, and some grounds rolled oats for added chewiness.
What really made me love this bread, though, was serving it toasted with a wee tad of butter, and a generous spread of Blackberry Honey Créme from Honey Ridge Farms*. It's a distintively refreshing product- not really honey (although made with it), nor is it a jam or fruit butter, but rather it takes the best qualities of all the above, blending fruit and honey, and turning out something better.
So get out your measuring cups, there's still time to make this quick Irish Soda Bread to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Bake it today for tomorrow- the flavor actually improves over a few days.
* available at a few specilaty food stores in Southern California, or online
Irish Soda Bread
2 cups unbleached flour all purpose flour, plus additional for sprinkling
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup wheat bran or toasted wheat germ
1/4 cup rolled oats, pulsed in a food processor to grind slightly
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a parchment lined baking sheet sprinkled lightly with flour.
Whisk together flour, sugar, wheat bran, rolled oats baking soda and salt in a alre bowl. Add butter cubes, then break up and work the butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips until it resmebles coarse corn meal.
Stir in the raisins, then add buttermilk and stir the dough until it is mistened evenly.
Knead the dough one minute on a floured board, spirnkling lighlty with additional flour, as needed to prevent sticking. The dough should remina soft.
Shape the dough into a ball, and pace on the prepared baking sheet patting dough to flatten into an @ 6" round. Spirnkle it with additional flour. Cut a an X into the top of the round with a sicssors.
Bake the bread for @ 35-40 minutes, until golden brown. Wrap the bread loosely in a kitchen towel and cool on a rack for 1 hour. Unwrap and allow it to cool for an additional hour.