Irish Soda Bread with Orange Zest and Raisins

Irish Soda Bread with Orange Zest and Raisins
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I have been curious about Irish Soda Bread for some time now. I have seen recipes for it popping up here and there around the Internet and wondered if it was wonderful and tasty or kind of dry and boring.  I don’t really care for dry and boring. (Not really my cup of tea, if you know what I am saying here.

However, since St. Patrick’s Day is coming up this weekend I decided to take the plunge…

get a little bit Irish…

and make the bread.

It was piping hot, fresh from the oven when some very sophisticated, calm, serious boys came strolling through my front door eager and willing to be my taste testers for the day.

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Like I said. Really calm and serious. 🙂 These are MyLittleTwinBoys and their dear friend Ryan. They were more than happy to taste the bread for me. So, I spread a few small slices with butter and honey, the boys ingested the bread…

and gave it 6 thumbs up.

Right after they ate three more pieces each.

As it turns out the exterior of the bread is nice and crusty, while the inside is quite moist and flavorful. It’s much easier to make than breads that require yeast. You don’t have to worry about the temperature of the liquid or letting the dough rise at all. You just mix it up, plop it on a sheet, knead it two or three times and then bake it.

Easy, breezy, beautiful.

Let’s make it, man. You, me and your inner Irish self.

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Irish Soda Bread with Orange Zest and Raisins
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Time: 15 min prep + 45-55 min baking
Yield: 1 loaf
Recipe lightly adapted from Ina Garten

4 C flour
4 T sugar
1 t baking soda
1 1/2 t salt
4 T cold butter
1 3/4 C buttermilk
1 egg
1 t orange zest
1 C raisins
1 T flour

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1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees
2. Grab 4 C of flour and place it in your stand mixer, or large mixing bowl. Add 4 T sugar, 1 t baking soda and 1 1/2 t salt. Toss it around a bit to combine.

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3. Take 4 T cold butter and cut it into chunks.

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4. Toss the butter chunks into the dry ingredients. Using the paddle attachment (or two knives, if you don’t have a stand mixer) mix the butter in.

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5. Pour 1 3/4 C buttermilk into a large glass measuring cup.

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Add 1 egg and 1 t orange zest.

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Take a fork and whisk it all together until well combined.

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6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix just until combined.

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7. Grab 1 C raisins

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and pour them into a small bowl. Pour 1 T flour over the top of them and give everything a nice stir allowing all of the raisins to get coated. Add the raisins to the dough and mix them in. Be careful not to over mix.

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8. Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray and set the dough out on it.

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9. Spray your hands with cooking spray and then knead the dough, just a few times. Then form it into a big round ball.

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10. Spray a sharp knife with cooking spray and cut and X in the top of the dough.

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Like this. 🙂
11. Pop the pan into the oven and allow it to bake for  45-55 minutes, or until the outside is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If you tap the top of the loaf, it will sound hollow when the bread it done.
12. Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes before you slice it.

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Cut it with a serrated  knife…

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spread some butter on top, drizzle it with honey…

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and enjoy!

Have a Happy St. Patty’s Day everyone!!!! Hope you have some fun plans with those you love. 🙂



Post a comment!

4 Comments

  1. 1
    March 15, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    “easy, breezy, beautiful” – lol!

    I’m loving your orange zest and raisin take on Irish soda bread. Might have to give this one a try. Have a great St. Patrick’s Day!

    Patricia

  2. 2
    Megan
    March 18, 2013 at 11:03 am

    I just made this yesterday, although I used Craisins instead of raisins. It was SO yummy, and as my first foray into traditional St. Patrick’s Day food, I was impressed with how easy and tasty it was. Thanks!

  3. 3
    March 20, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    very different from my usual soda bread and will have to give it a try. I love raisins, but hubby doesn’t, so like Megan will be using Craisins

  4. 4
    March 20, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    here is the one I usually make – believe I got it from Allrecipes

    Irresistible Irish Soda Bread
    Prep Time: 15 Minutes, Cook Time: 1 Hour 10 Min., Ready In: 1 Hour 25 Min., Rating: 5 stars, Servings: 12

    “Try this tried-and-true recipe for plain Irish soda bread with buttermilk that is a snap to prepare. Make it early in the day, as it tastes best after sitting for a few hours.”

    3 cups all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1/3 cup white sugar
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 egg, lightly beaten
    2 cups buttermilk
    1/4 cup butter, melted

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.

    Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and baking soda. Blend egg and buttermilk together, and add all at once to the flour mixture. Mix just until moistened. Stir in butter. Pour into prepared pan.

    Bake for 65 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the bread comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Wrap in foil for several hours, or overnight, for best flavor.

    Comments
    We are not big fans of raisins baked in things so it suits us better than most traditional ISB recipes. I usually make it in 3 mini loaf pans and bake it for about 40 minutes.

    I like my bread a bit on the dense side so I tried not to overcook it. I baked it in a loaf pan at 350 for 1 hour and it came out perfect!

    The only tip I can offer is that chemically leavened breads should sit out at room temp for 30 minutes or so in the loaf pan following the mixing to allow the soda and powder to do their jobs. This will create an airier loaf – this holds true for pancakes, biscuits, etc…

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