Our travels in Ireland led us to quite a few B&Bs and at each and every one, they served soda bread with breakfast. We liked the versions with raisins, so when we returned to the USA, Sheila baked and I taste-tested until we agreed on this recipe. Most people have it only on St. Patrick’s Day, when they pretend to be Irish, but we enjoy it all year round. No yeast required.
- 4 cups + 1 Tablespoon bread flour
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 Tablespoon water
- Preheat oven to 325. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, combine 4 cups flour, raisins, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Mix on low speed for 2 minutes.
- In a stainless steel bowl, gently whisk the buttermilk and vegetable oil. Gradually add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients while mixing on low speed until the dough forms a ball, 30-40 seconds. Scrape the dough away from the paddle and turn the dough ball over. Mix on low speed for another 30 seconds.
- Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead vigorously with the heels of your hands until smooth, about two minutes. Form the dough into a round loaf. Pinch a small handful of dough and gently twist, being careful not to tear the dough from the loaf. Place the dough, pinched side down, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Whisk the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water, then lightly brush the mixture over the top of the loaf. Score the loaf by cutting a 1/4’’ deep ‘X’ into the top. Bake the loaf in the preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes. The bread is done if a hollow sound is heard when the bottom is tapped with your finger. Allow the bread to cool to room temperature before slicing.
Serve with butter or honey. Makes a very nice toast. Enjoy!
*Photo by Patti Phillips