The month of March will bring traditional Irish foods to area grocers. Irish soda bread is a popular food that most consumers can’t resist the urge to put into their grocery carts. The average cost for a 16 oz. crusty round bread is $2.50; enough for 4 servings when in season.
Irish soda breads are dense inside, fairly dry and filled with scant raisins. For all you savvy cooks, one can create a moist version bursting with flavors. Food shoppers know that cooking foods from scratch gives full control on what ingredients to use and will yield more servings; pocket the savings and have more to eat.
By using a few grocery ingredients you may already have in the pantry, along with fresh buttermilk, an orange and raisins, make fabulous family-sized round Irish soda bread with this easy recipe.
Irish Soda Bread:
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 stick of butter, set 1 tbs. into a small bowl, melted
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup raisins soaked in the juice of 1 orange
- 1/4 cup buttermilk, reserved for brushing tops of dough
Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper
1. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt
2. In a mixer, cream butter and sugar
3. Then add buttermilk, sour cream, orange zest, and vanilla
4. Add dry ingredients to the mixer, then raisins
5. Mix until a soft dough forms
6. Turn the soft dough onto a lightly floured table
7. Knead lightly to form a round dough, place onto prepared baking sheet
8. Use a serrated knife to score a X on top of the bread
9. Combine 1/4 cup buttermilk to the melted butter
10. Brush top of round dough
Bake for 45 minutes. Allow to cool before slicing. Serve with your favorite preserves, jellies or butter.
Cooking tip: Use dried cherries, currants or candied ginger to try different flavors or pared with the raisins
The aroma of this fresh baked bread is perfect to make any time of the month. Enjoy!
Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread, http://www.sodabread.info/
To view Irish soda bread slideshow pictures,National Grocery Examiner