My mother-in-law makes a terrific Irish Soda Bread. It’s lovely in every way, which is why I’ve never tried to make it. Instead, each year, I lazily wait by the phone until Nana calls asking if she can drop off a loaf…fresh out of the oven.
But last year, my in-laws were out of town on Saint Patrick’s Day – and sadly, we didn’t get any of Nana’s Irish Soda Bread. So after an initial pity-party on my end, I went on the prowl for an easy recipe that I could make whenever Nana was out of town.
Since I’m a loyal Ina Garten fan, I naturally headed over to her site to see what I could find. Lucky for me, Ina had an easy-peasy recipe that didn’t require the use of yeast. (Whoo-hoo! I am WAY too impatient to use yeast!)
This non-traditional Irish Soda Bread uses orange zest and currants, which I love, and is really, really easy to make. Over the past two years, I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit to add more orange flavor – but you can see her original recipe here.
Just so you know, the dough will be very wet and sticky – just go with it. Punch it out a few times on your floured surface and then just slap it onto your parchment-lined baking pan. I’m serious – there’s no need to be tender with this dough; it will do what it needs to do once it’s in the oven.
This recipe makes a monster-sized loaf, so you may want to divide it into two smaller loaves. But in our house, we just make one big loaf and use the leftovers for French Toast! Yum!
IRISH SODA BREAD RECIPE WITH CURRANTS
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon extra for currants
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 3/4 cups cold buttermilk, shaken
- 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
- 2-3 teaspoons grated orange zest
- 2-3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 cup dried currants
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Step 2: Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is mixed into the flour.
Step 3: With a fork, lightly beat the buttermilk, egg, orange juice and orange zest together in a measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture.
Step 4: Combine the currants with 1 tablespoon of flour and mix into the dough. It will be very wet.
Step 5: Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and knead it a few times into a round loaf. Place the loaf on the prepared sheet pan and lightly cut an X into the top of the bread with a serrated knife. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. When you tap the loaf, it will have a hollow sound.
Step 6: Cool on a baking rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. (This recipe tastes best when eaten the same day; but fear not, if you have any leftover slices, simply toast them and serve with butter, or make French Toast instead!)
Thanks for reading,
Want more tasty Irish recipes? Look no further:
- Tomato Potato Soup with Parsley Pistou
- Chocolate Indulgence Cake
- Irish Beer Bread
- Leprechaun Cookies
- Tasty Irish Recipes Your Whole Family Will Enjoy