Monday, February 13, 2012

Sweet Irish Soda Bread

Since food is my thing, being a foodie romance author and former chef, I figured I'd put together another post about Irish food. Potentially, not the last, so keep checking back. Plus, I put recipes in the back of all my foodie romance books, so you could almost have a whole recipe book just going through my blog posts and published works. **idea** Ok, back to the Irish food. Focus, Cam, focus.

This is a recipe I got from my Irish-Canadian grandmother, tweaked a little based on a recipe I found on Epicurious, as well. I definitely like this tweaked version even more than the one my grandma used to make.

Don't tell her that.

Irish soda bread is a very traditional food, and not to be trifled with. In fact, when I first told my grandmother about my "sweet soda bread" she said, "No, no, missy, that's not real soda bread." To which I said, "but I used soda." It wasn't much of an argument. Still, I prefer this to the traditional version any day.

A quick note. For the dusting sugar, instead of buying a bunch of powdered sugar, you can make your own. Take regular sugar, put it in a spice grinder or a food processor, and grind that puppy until it's dust. You'll end up with a better product than powdered sugar (which is often cut with cornstarch or fine flour because powdered sugar is typically used with liquid and will thicken better than straight sugar). If you're ever using powdered sugar for dusting primarily, I suggest making your own dusting sugar instead. Control your food.

Sweet Irish Soda Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
1 egg, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup currants
2 tablespoons toasted caraway seeds
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 tablespoon dusting sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix well. Cut the butter and shortening into small pieces and add to the flour mixture. Using your fingers, work the cold butter and shortening into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the egg, the buttermilk, the currants and the caraway seeds and mix into the flour mixture until it is incorporated. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently until the dough forms a smooth ball. Place the dough into a lightly greased loaf pan. Score the top of the loaf with a very sharp knife. Brush the top of the loaf with melted butter. Sprinkle with sanding sugar. Place the loaf in the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown.

It was great fun to get comments from people who'd tried the recipes for Dublin Coddle. If you try this, please leave me a comment. Or email me through my website. I'd love to hear how it worked for you.


Renee Vincent said...

Oh, I'm gonna have to try this recipe, Camryn. Do you know if I can do this in an bread maker?

Chicks of Characterization said...

Sounds good!!! Do you ever make traditional yorkshire pudding?? I grew up on that!!! YUMMY! My mouth is watering thinking about eating it with a lovely au jus!!!!

~Andrea :O)

Pat McDermott said...

Yum, Camryn. I love Irish soda bread, and this sounds like a winner. Like your suggestion about the sugar. Will give it a try.

Victoria Roberts said...

Camryn, that sounds delicious. I will have to try. Thanks for sharing!

Lizzie Walker said..., wow. When I meet you Cam, can you bring some with you? LOL

I am sure I would muck it up but dear hubby is fabulous with making all kinds of bread. Well he is fabulous cooking period.

Who knew? Thank you for the recipe. Can't wait to have HUSBAND try it out. LOL