01 November 2011

Irish Soda Bread

This Irish soda bread is just perfect for a hearty morning tea or an after-school snack for hungry kids. It is best eaten fresh, but leftovers (if you have any) are delicious thinly sliced, lightly toasted and topped with honey.

4 cups plain flour
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp bicarb soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
500ml sour cream
2 tbsp buttermilk*
1 cup currants
1 tsp caraway seeds

Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Grease two 20cm x 10cm loaf tins and line the bases with baking paper.  Mix the flour, sugar, bicarb soda, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, sour cream, buttermilk, currants and caraway seeds. Mix until just combined. This will be a very thick, very lumpy batter. Distribute batter evenly between the two pans. Bake loaves for 1 hour or until nicely browned. Do not over bake. Best served immediately with butter.

I have some tweaks for this recipe, use them if you want to, stick to the recipe if you prefer.  The first one is the buttermilk. Don't buy buttermilk just for this recipe, it's far too expensive and hard to get, not all supermarkets keep it.  Instead I add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to 2 tablespoons of milk and stir. The I let it sit for five minutes to curdle, then measure out the 2 tablespoons I need for the recipe.

I use currants in this recipe but if you don't like currants or don't have them you can use sultanas or raisins. If you use raisins I suggest you chop them to about currant size before adding them to the dry ingredients.

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