Top o' the Mornin' to Ya! Scrap whatever you are doing right now and make this bread...seriously, it's THAT good. Oh sure, I know what you're thinking...Irish Soda Bread is bland and needs tons of butter and jam to make it palatable...well yes, that's true, REAL Irish Soda Bread IS bland...but this is American Irish Soda Bread...it's got sugar in it and raisins (which a real Irishman would never permit!) and buttermilk to make it creamy with a bit of a zip! I fell in love with this bread the first time I made it - and I could have sworn I posted this recipe before...but after searching I couldn't find it, which either means I filed it in the wrong category (highly likely) or I'm losing my mind (highly likelier). As I was making this in the wee hours of the morn, the mister asked what I was doing...I told him I was making it in an attempt to lure a Leprechaun with his pot of gold to the front door...and the mister said, "Well good, make sure you catch the little bas----, we need the cash!" It's always so nice to start the morning with a positive thought. Bet you wish you were married to a wordsmith, too!
Irish Soda Bread, made the traditional way, not only doesn't include sugar or raisins but no caraway seeds either! I don't happen to like caraway seeds so I didn't put them in but if you like them just add in a tablespoon after you add the raisins.
Oh, one more thing, if you want to make a classic Irish Soda Bread, there are a cazillion recipes on line, or you could just follow the recipe below except omit the egg and decrease the sugar to 2 tablespoons (c'mon, you have to have a leeetle sugar!)
Irish Soda Bread - Adapted from Baking Illustrated
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus 1 tablespoon melted butter for crust
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup raisins
1 tablespoon caraway seeds (optional)
Adjust an oven rack to the upper middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Whisk the flours, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt together in a large bowl. Work the softened butter into the dry ingredients with a fork or your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Combine the buttermlk and egg with a fork. Add the buttermilk-egg mixture, raisins and caraway seeds and stir with a fork just until the dough begins to come together. Turn out onto a flour-coated work surface; knead just until the dough becomes cohesive and bumpy, 12 to 14 turns. (Do not knead until the dough is smooth, or the bread will be tough.)
Pat the dough into a round about 6 inches in diameter and 2 inches high; place on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Score the dough by cutting a cross shape on the top of the loaf. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, covering bread with aluminum foil if it is browning too much (check after 20 minutes). Bread is done when a skewer is inserted into the center and comes out clean or the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees. Remove the loaf from the oven and brush the surface with the melted butter, cool to room temperature, 30 to 40 minutes before slicing.
May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand." ~ Old Irish Blessing