Cookbook Profile

Traditional Irish Soda Bread


4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup dried currants or golden raisins
1 to 1-1/2 cups buttermilk or sour milk,
     at room temperature
1/4 cup of honey
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons milk, for glaze

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a large bowl, sift and combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add salt, orange zest, and caraway seeds.

3. Use a pastry cutter or fingers, cut in or blend butter into flour mixture until the dough resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the currants or raisins. Set aside.

4. In a medium bowl, combine honey with 1-1/2 cups buttermilk.

5. Stir into flour mixture until dry ingredients are moistened. Turn out onto a floured surface (dough will be sticky).

6. Knead, 1 minute. Cut dough in half. Shape each piece into a round loaf. Place on a greased and flour-dusted baking sheet. Dip a sharp knife into flour and cut across 1/2 inch deep, across top of each loaf.

7. Brush loaves with egg-and-milk glaze. Let stand for 10 minutes before baking. Bake in preheated oven, 35-40 minutes. To test for doneness, turn the bread over and tap underneath. If the bread sounds hollow, it is fully cooked. Let cool on racks before slicing. Slice thin or cut in wedges.


Buy the Book!


Elegant Irish Cooking
Hundreds of Recipes from the World's Foremost Irish Chefs
By Noel C. Cullen, Ed.D., CMC, AAC
Photography by Ron Manville
Lebhar-Friedman Books
March 2001, $35.00/Hardcover
70 four-color photographs
ISBN: 0-86730-839-7
Recipe reprinted by permission.


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This page created March 2002