Recipes For My Boys: Irish Soda Bread with Dried Fruit

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Irish Soda Bread with Dried Fruit

It's almost St. Patrick's day and I have been in the mood to cook the part.  You know, Corned Beef and Cabbage,  Irish Stew.....making Shamrock Shakes for my boys.  I've never made Irish Soda Bread before and so glad that I did.  I opted for a non-traditional bread, adapting this recipe from Barefoot Contessa's recipes for Irish Soda Bread.  While it isn't traditional Irish Soda Bread,  which has only flour, soda, salt and buttermilk,  it is great bread!  I didn't have any currants, couldn't find any and my boys ate all the raisins so I used what I had ... dried fruit bits and they made the bread wonderful!   Enjoy!

Irish Soda Bread with Dried Fruit

4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1  1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 large egg, beaten
zest from one large orange
1 cup dried fruit bits, traditionally currants or raisins are used

Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and dried fruit with flat blade of mixer.  Add butter a little at the time until incorporated into flour.  Add egg, buttermilk and orange zest until it is just mixed.  Do not over beat.  The dough is very sticky and wet.  Pour into a greased 9" cast iron skillet, wet hands and form top into a mound.  Or, turn onto a floured surface.  Knead only a time or two so you can shape it into a mound.  Put it on a greased cookie sheet.  
Make a cross on the top.  
Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven 40-50 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and when tapped, it gives a hollow sound.  
Serve warm or toast the next day with butter and/or jam.

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