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Irish Soda Bread with Raisins and Orange

This is not technically a true Irish Soda Bread. Soda bread is traditionally made with only four ingredients: flour, salt, baking soda and sour milk (buttermilk). Baking Soda was introduced to Ireland in the 1840’s as a means to make bread, but soda was actually first used to leaven bread in America by the American Indians. However, the nature of poverty in Ireland made this bread popular and cheap and it became historically associated with that country. The practice of cutting a cross into the top of the bread was believed to ward off evil.

While traditional Irish bread is flavorful and still made and eaten today, I wanted a sweet breakfast bread to eat with my morning coffee so I added a few twists.

This bread is easy and fast to make, unlike yeast breads. No expertise is required!

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Next whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.

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Cut in the butter (make sure it’s cold) with a pastry cutter until crumbly. Stir in the raisins.

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In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, egg, baking soda and orange zest.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix together with a fork. Mix until just moistened.

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Form a ball with the dough, using your hands and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Form an 8-10 inch dome.

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Brush egg whites on top, then generously sprinkle with sugar.

Cut a 1/4 inch deep cross into the bread.

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Bake for 75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack.

Slice or pull apart. Serve with butter and jams.

Enjoy!

Orange-Raisin Irish Soda Bread
Ingredients
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tbsp cold butter
  • 1 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp orange zest
  • 1 egg white for brushing on top
  • 2 tbsp sugar for sprinkling on top
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda.

  3. Cut in the cold butter using a pastry blender until it becomes crumbly.

  4. Stir in raisins.

  5. In a separate bowl, combine the whole egg, buttermilk, baking soda and orange zest.

  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix with a fork until moistened.

  7. Using your hands form the dough into a ball and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.

  8. Form an 8-10 inch dome and brush the top with the egg white. Generously sprinkle sugar on top.

  9. Cut a 1/4 inch deep cross into the top of the dough.

  10. Bake for 75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean.

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