For as long as I can remember the middle of March has involved Irish Soda Bread. I remember watching mom work with the tough dough, and the enormous cast iron skillet that was as essential as caraway seeds. It was a given that I would carry this tradition on when I started experimenting in the kitchen.
Over the years since I first made this on my own I have tweaked my mother's (grandmother's) recipe made it my own. Both of my parents are Irish-Italian Americans, so both of my grandmothers have soda bread recipes they swear by. Their recipes are very good, but by combining them and adding in my nutrition background the resulting recipe is to die for. Really, you must try it! It's easy and the pay back is huge.
Irish Soda Bread
Preheat the oven to 350. In a large bowl, mix together 2c whole wheat flour, 2c all-purpose flour, 8t baking powder, 1c sugar and 1t salt. Cut in 6T butter until combined. Make sure the butter is cold, you will know the butter and dry ingredients are ready for the next step when the butter pieces are about the size of peas. Add in 1 1/2c golden raisins (currants are traditional, but I find the golden raisins taste better here) and 3T caraway seeds and mix until well combined. Slowly mix in 2c low-fat buttermilk, I add this in 1/2c at a time– make sure to get the bottom of the bowl. Stir the dry-wet mix until well combined; this dough is heavy and will need some elbow grease to get it all combined. Line 1 large or 2 small cookie sheets with parchment paper. Split the dough in half and form each half into a discus. Bake for 40 minutes until golden brown and crisp on the edges, rotate the sheets halfway through cooking time. Makes 2 loaves, 9 servings each - 18 servings total. Points Plus: 5.
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