Many years ago we had a neighbor who would bake Irish Soda Bread. Every St Patrick’s Day, Judy or her husband would run a loaf across the road to us, packaged and perfect for St Patrick’s Day afternoon tea. When we moved to Wisconsin I continued the tradition. I never had Judy’s recipe, so I make this version. Follow along as I show you how to make Golden Irish Soda Bread.
First up, this is the Barefoot Contessa’s Irish Soda Bread with a couple of ingredient swaps. I almost never have buttermilk in the house, so I substitute milk with a tablespoon of lemon but it is worth buying the buttermilk, it changes the consistency of the recipe a bit.
I use whatever dried fruit I have available. The key to cooking well and staying on a budget is being versatile with what ingredients you use. Running out to buy a package of an ingredient you may use once a year doesn’t make sense. I had just made a dozen Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets and had some golden raisins left, so I used them. Since I also have an abundance of cheap lemons right now, I added lemon zest. The result is a Golden, slightly sweet version of our St Patrick’s Day staple.
Get everything ready – a large baking sheet lined with parchment and preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. The basics are the dry ingredients of flour, sugar, salt, baking soda. Your fat, butter. Wet ingredients of a lightly beaten large egg and some buttermilk. And your add-ins, lemon zest and golden raisins.
Combine your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.. I use a mixer with a paddle attachment but you can do this by hand. Cube your butter and add to the dry mixture. I combine until the butter is well integrated into the flour mixture. If mixing by hand, use a knife or fork or break up up the butter or a pastry cutter, then mix.
Once the butter and flour is well combined, mix your lightly beaten egg, buttermilk and lemon zest together and slowly add to the dry ingredients as you mix to combine. Once everything is well mixed, toss your dried fruit with a tablespoon of flour and add into the dough.
I find it always works out fairly sticky for me so I turn it straight onto the baking sheet and use a spoon, my dough scraper or floured hands to turn it into a rounded shape.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 50 minutes to an hour until touched with gold and cooked through.
You should wait until it’s almost cool to eat it because warm bread can get doughy if you cut into it too soon. So you should wait… but we rarely do
My family loves this lightly toasted and slathered with butter. I made it at lunchtime, it was gone by dinner and requests have come in for more Irish Fruity stuff for the weekend. I think we can continue the St Patrick’s Day celebration for a bit longer…