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
Photography: Mark Berenson
Source: Martha Stewart Living, March 2000
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.