Irish Soda Bread — Not Just For St. Patrick’s Day

Healthier Irish Soda Bread

This a healthier version of the traditional Irish soda bread.

Healthier Irish Soda Bread

Never was one to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day however, every single year around this time, soda bread is mentioned and I have never tasted it!  Being a serious bread connoisseur, well, that’s just not right.

(Why is it called soda bread?  Because this bread uses baking soda and not yeast as a leavening agent.  Check here for more.)

I visited the 14th street farmer’s market earlier today looking for some freshly picked local kale which I didn’t find.  I came across numerous bread bakers who all had their own version of Irish soda bread ready for the upcoming holiday.

One such baker, an all organic baker, had some really tempting goodies, let me tell you.  I zeroed in on their zucchini tarts but when the vendor told me I could purchase just a slice of the organic Irish soda bread, I opted in.

It was delicious with just a hint of buttery flavor.  The bread resembles a scone and the recipe is very similar.  It requires much less butter which is just fine with me these days.

Here’s my recipe for Irish Soda Bread
(adapted from Ina Garten’s Irish Soda Bread)

1 ½  C organic white flour
1 C whole wheat flour
½ C rolled oats, ground into flour
3 T organic sugar
3/4 t baking soda

1 t kosher salt
3 T cold butter
½  C organic milk
1 C plain, low-fat yogurt
1 egg
½ t lemon or orange zest
½ C organic raisins or currants

Process:  combine all dry ingredients; add a sprinkle of flour to the raisin before adding to dry mixture to keep them separated; combine all the wet ingredients and zest in a separate bowl and mix well;  add the wet to the dry; roll out onto a floured surface and mix with hands until no longer sticky adding flour as needed; place onto a parchment lined baking sheet; cut the top cross-wise and bake in a 375 F degree oven for 45-50 minutes.

The visual process…

Healthier Irish Soda Bread

All dry ingredients in one bowl.

Healthier Irish Soda Bread

Cut in the cold butter.

Healthier Irish Soda Bread

Before adding raisins (or currants), dust with some flour to ensure raisin in every bite.

Healthier Irish Soda Bread

Add them in and mix “by hand”.

Healthier Irish Soda Bread

Add wet ingredients to the dry; mix together then roll dough onto a floured surface.

Healthier Irish Soda Bread

Floured surface.

Healthier Irish Soda Bread

Mold into a dome and slice cross-wise over the top.

Healthier Irish Soda Bread

Healthier Irish Soda Bread

Here’s the beautiful finished product!

Happy Irish soda bread-baking day!

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