St. Patrick's Day is coming soon, so I thought I would type this post in an Irish accent and share this recipe from a family friend, Martha Johnson. Mrs. Johnson came to Toronto from Ireland in 1918 and worked for Lady Eaton before marrying a handsome young chap and moving to a farm in Guelph, Ontario (I'm just guessing he was handsome...they were all handsome and polite back then...and chivalrous...and sincere...and like Jamie from "Outlander"!!)...sorry, I believe we were talking about food...this is Mrs. Johnson's family recipe for Irish Soda bread :)
First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees, then you will need: all purpose flour, butter, baking powder, baking soda, salt, granulated sugar, an egg, buttermilk and currants.
In a large bowl, add 2 cups of all purpose flour...
...a 1/4 cup of granulated sugar,
...a 1/2 tsp. of salt and 2 tsp's of baking powder (mix ingredients with a fork until combined).
Next, add 6 tbsp's of cold butter to the flour mixture...(*note: a 1/4 cup of butter, is equal to 4 tbsp's)
...and blend it into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter (or 2 knives), until crumbly.
Stir in 3/4 of a cup of dried currants.
In a smaller bowl, combine 2/3 of a cup of cold buttermilk,
...1 egg and a 1/2 tsp. of baking soda...beat with a fork until combined.
Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour/butter concoction,
...then stir with a fork until a soft dough forms.
The dough will be sticky at this point...
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a ball...try to work the dough as little as possible, as that will toughen your soda bread.
Score the top of your dough ball in a criss cross with a sharp knife...
...then, place into a greased cast iron pan or onto a parchment lined baking sheet and sprinkle the top with granulated sugar.
Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove soda bread from baking pan and place onto a wire cooling rack.
Serve warm slices of soda bread with butter and a spot of Irish breakfast tea...Enjoy!
Irish Soda Bread
2 cups of all purpose flour
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. of salt
2 tsp's of baking powder
6 tbsp's of cold, unsalted butter
3/4 cup of currants
2/3 cup of buttermilk
1/2 tsp. of baking soda
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees...In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and stir with a fork until combined.
2. Using a pastry cutter, blend in the butter until crumbly, then stir in the currants.
3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg and baking soda...add to the flour/butter mixture and stir until a soft dough forms.
4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a ball...score the top in a criss cross pattern with a sharp knife.
5. Put the dough into a greased pan and bake for about 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
6. Remove from oven and place the soda bread onto a wire cooling rack.
Serve warm with butter or jam...or both and a hot cup of tea!
* note: slices of soda bread are excellent toasted the next day