Every March for St. Patrick's Day, we make some kind of corned beef meal at our house. I thought I'd branch out this year and found this easy recipe for Irish soda bread.
I landed on this one at allrecipes.com that involves a little bit of work (kneading is part of the recipe). But when it was all said and done, it hardly took any time and turned out a delicious and moist loaf of soda bread. And "moist" isn't usually a word that I associate with soda bread.
This was great the day I made it and even better the next morning as toast with jam.
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup buttermilk
Mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and butter. Mix in the buttermilk and egg. Put the mixture on a floured surface and knead just a bit to make sure it's all mixed together. Form into a round and place on a greased cookie sheet.
In a small bowl, mix together the melted butter and 1/4 cup buttermilk. Brush on top of your loaf. You'll have a lot left over. Use the remaining butter/buttermilk mixture to baste the loaf a few times while baking. With a knife, cut an "X" on to the top.
Bake at 375 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. I baked the loaf for about an hour, basting it about every 15 minutes. I took the suggestion of one of the posters on allrecipes,com, who suggested sprinkling some sugar on top each time you baste it.
Soda bread often has raisins or currants in it. This recipe doesn't call for it and my older daughter doesn't like them. But if you want to include them, people who have tried the recipe recommended adding a 1/2 cup to a cup of raisins as you are kneading the dough.
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