Friday, March 18, 2016

Even Better Irish Soda Bread

I mentioned on Facebook yesterday that I was making Irish Soda Bread as part of our St. Patrick's Day celebration. While Elaine was taking her afternoon snooze, Danny and I got baking. He is an expert at leveling the flour and is quite handy with a whisk. It makes the biggest mess you can imagine, but we both get a kick out of our kitchen projects.

The recipe I made last year was dynamite, but I just can't leave well enough alone. I wondered if we could make it just a little bit better—even more rich and tender than it already was. So I decided to add a few additional tablespoons of butter because...butter. And an egg yolk couldn't hurt, right? I'm not sure if it was the tweaks to the recipe or my fantastic sous chef (thanks, Danny boy!), but this year's Irish Soda Bread rocked my world.

I didn't want to forget the updated recipe, and I thought you all deserved to have it as well. So even though St. Patrick's Day is over, this Even Better Irish Soda Bread would make the perfect addition to your table this weekend. Eat it warm, slathered with butter. Enjoy it for breakfast, along side a cup of tea in the afternoon, or serve it with Malissa's Slow Cooker Corned Beef for the perfect Irish dinner.

We're keeping the St. Patrick's Day spirit going for one more day!

Let's get cooking!

Even Better Irish Soda Bread
Adapted from this recipe

3 c flour
1/4 c sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/3 cup buttermilk
1 egg yolk
1 cup raisins
1-2 tablespoons milk
1-2 tablespoons coarse sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir in melted butter until the mixture looks crumbly.

In a separate bowl, stir together buttermilk and egg yolk. Stir buttermilk mixture and raisins into the flour until the dough just comes together in a shaggy mixture.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly-floured counter. Knead just until the dough comes together in a ball, about 10 times. (My dough was pretty wet even after kneading, and it turned out great!) Pat dough into an 8" circle and place on prepared baking sheet. Brush top of dough with milk and sprinkle generously with coarse sugar. Use a knife to cut a large "X" on the top of the loaf.

Bake for about 45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

P.S. Since we're still celebrating St. Patrick's Day, I had to share a picture of my littlest leprechaun. She makes me melt.

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