‘Tis the season for Irish soda bread! I love the simple flavors of this easy to make classic and make at least one loaf each Spring. Soda bread is best served warm slathered with butter but I also love it paired with sharp cheddar. Cheddar and raisins sound crazy but it works – its the sweet and salty combo. I strongly suggest giving this recipe a try and be prepared to eat half the load warm, straight from the oven.
4 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
5 tablespoons butter, cold!
1 cup raisins
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees. If you are using a cast iron pan, I strongly suggest placing the pan in the oven now to heat it up. This will help crisp the bottom of the bread.
Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. Using a pastry cutter or your hands, cut in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Fold in the raisins.
Make a well in the mixture and add the egg and buttermilk. Stirring in slowly until the dough comes together. Turn dough out on a floured surface and knead only a few times to bring it all together. Adding more flour if necessary. Don’t over-knead – the dough should be shaggy and not smooth like more bread dough.
Toss the dough ball in the pre-heated skillet and cut an X in the top. Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.
Let cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving! This is best served warm with butter but it is also – strangely – delicious with cheddar cheese. Trust me!