Recipe summary

Hands-on time:
10 mins. to 12 mins.
Baking time:
50 mins. to 60 mins.
Total time:
60 mins. to 1 hrs 12 mins.
Yield:
1 loaf
This sweeter, richer version of Irish soda bread is more in tune with American tastes than the traditional Irish bread, which simply combines flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. Still, it's not as sweet as many American soda breads; chewy and light, most of its sweetness comes from its currants, and a crackly-crunchy sugar crust.
Volume Ounces Grams

Bread

  • 12 3/4 ounces Perfect Pastry Blend OR King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/4 ounces granulated sugar
  • 4 1/2 ounces currants or raisins
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds, optional
  • 1 large egg
  • 14 ounces buttermilk*
  • 2 ounces butter, melted
  • *No buttermilk in the house? Substitute 1 cup milk + 3/4 cup (one 6-ounce container) plain or vanilla yogurt

Topping

Directions

  1. 1) Preheat the oven to 375F. Lightly grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan.
  2. 2) In a large bowl, whisk together the pastry blend or flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, currants, and caraway seeds.
  3. 3) In a separate bowl, or in a measuring cup, whisk together the egg and buttermilk (or milk and yogurt).
  4. 4) Quickly and gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  5. 5) Stir in the melted butter.
  6. 6) Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Draw your finger around the edge of the pan to create a "moat." Drizzle the bread with the 1 tablespoon of milk; the moat will help prevent the milk from running down the sides of the loaf. Sprinkle with the coarse sugar.
  7. 7) Bake the bread for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean; the interior of the bread will measure 200F to 210 on an instant-read thermometer.
  8. 8) Remove the bread from the oven, loosen its edges, and after 5 minutes turn it out onto a rack to cool. Cool completely before slicing. Wrap airtight and store at room temperature.
  9. Yield: 1 loaf.
  10. This recipe reprinted from The Baker's Catalogue, Spring through Summer 2001.