Irish Soda Bread
Hearty Irish soda bread is easy to make. It's welcome any time of year but is essential on St. Patrick's Day.
- 1 1/3 cups whole milk
- 1/3 cup apple-cider vinegar
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface and dusting
- 2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup unprocessed wheat bran
- 1/4 cup caraway seeds
- 1 cup (5 ounces) raisins
- Salted butter, preferably Irish, for serving
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Mix milk and vinegar in a small bowl, and let stand until thickened, about 5 minutes.
Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Cut in unsalted butter with a pastry cutter or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add bran, caraway seeds, and raisins; stir to distribute.
Pour milk mixture into flour mixture; stir until dough just holds together but is still sticky. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pat and press the dough gently into a round, dome-shaped loaf, about 7 inches in diameter. Transfer to prepared sheet.
Lightly dust top of loaf with flour. With a sharp knife, cut an X into the top, 3/4 inch deep. Bake, rotating halfway through, until loaf is golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour, 10 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Soda bread is best eaten the day it is made; serve with salted butter.