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Irish Soda Bread

By adding egg, sugar, caraway seeds, and butter to a traditional Irish soda bread recipe, you create a loaf that is fit for a Sunday breakfast or brunch. Wrapped well with plastic wrap, it can be stored at room temperature until the last crumb is eaten. Like all Irish soda breads, this freezes well.

  • Yield: 1 loaf
Irish Soda Bread

Photography: Mark Berenson

Source: Martha Stewart Living, March 2000

Ingredients

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons caraway seeds
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
  • 2 cups golden or dark raisins
  • 1 1/2 scant cups buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and caraway seeds until well combined.

  2. Using a pastry cutter or two knives in scissor fashion, cut in butter until the mixture feels like coarse meal. Stir in raisins until evenly distributed.

  3. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, and baking soda until well combined. Pour buttermilk mixture into the flour-and-butter mixture all at once, and stir with a fork until all the liquid is absorbed and the mixture begins to hold together. It should resemble a rough biscuit dough. Using your hands, press the dough into a round, dome-shaped loaf about 8 inches in diameter. Lift the loaf from the bowl, and transfer it to the prepared baking sheet.

  4. In a small bowl, mix the egg yolk and cream together. With a pastry brush, brush the egg wash over the loaf. With a sharp knife or razor, incise a cross, about 1/2 inch deep, into the top of the loaf. Transfer to the oven. Bake, rotating halfway through, until it is deep golden brown and a wooden skewer comes out clean when inserted into the center, about 70 minutes. Remove from oven, and transfer bread from the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool.

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