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The BEST Irish Soda Bread?


Stir Crazy Irish Soda Bread may not be traditional, but it's darn good.

Stir Crazy Irish Soda Bread may not be traditional, but it’s darn good.

Last year, when I was looking for Irish soda bread recipes for St. Patrick’s Day, I found a gazillion online proclaiming to be “The Best Irish Soda Bread.”

For the most part, I wasn’t impressed. So many recipes were bland, dry and crumbly.

Before you yell at me, I understand traditional Irish soda bread is just that, and it doesn’t even have raisins in it. It’s meant to be eaten with stew, or carried in your pocket for a quick snack. 

But try as I might, I just don’t like dry Irish soda bread.

So I tried a lot of different recipes to make a moister Irish soda bread, and finally hit upon one that was very good. It was moister due to the addition of buttermilk, and had a nice soft Irish flavor from a tablespoon of caraway seeds.

But I couldn’t leave well enough alone and added golden raisins, currants, and dried cranberries. I called it Stir Crazy Irish Soda Bread named for my radio show (which is on hiatus at present).

If you don’t mind NOT following tradition, give this recipe a whirl. Whether it’s the best Irish soda bread recipe, well that’s up to you.

Stir Crazy Irish Soda Bread, with what else, Kerrygold butter.

Stir Crazy Irish Soda Bread, with what else, Kerrygold butter.

Stir Crazy Irish Soda Bread
4 c sifted all-purpose flour
3 TBS sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 TBS caraway seeds
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried currants
1 1/3 cups buttermilk (plus more if needed)
1 egg
1 tsp. baking soda
1 egg yolk, beaten

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 or 10-inch springform pan lightly with no-stick spray, set aside (Can also use a round casserole baking dish with high sides).
2. Place sifted flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder into mixing bowl and stir. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal; stir in raisins, dried cranberries, currants, and caraway seeds.
3. Combine buttermilk, 1 egg, and baking soda well with a fork; stir into flour mixture just enough to moisten dry ingredients. Dough should be sticky, if it is too dry add some more buttermilk.
4. Turn onto floured board and knead lightly (just about eight turns) until dough is smooth. Shape into a circle and pat gently into the pan, out to the edges. With a sharp knife, cut a 4 cross about 1/2 inch deep in center of dough. Brush top lightly with egg yolk.
5. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until a cake tester (or toothpick) inserted in center of loaf comes out clean.
6. Cool bread in pan on rack for 10 minutes; remove. Cool on wire rack before slicing. Enjoy with some nice Irish butter. Also great toasted the next day.

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