Tuesday, March 18, 2008

IRISH SODA BREAD ( bad pics, good bread)

Do Not Wait Until Next St. Patrick's day. This bread is FANTASTIC and is the perfect respite from dinner rolls any ole night for dinner.

IRISH SODA BREAD (from The Joy Of Cooking)

One 8-inch round loaf

When this batter is made with the greater amount of sugar and baked in a loaf pan, it becomes a fine crusty tea bread that stays moist for 3 to 4 days. To make a tea loaf, use 1/3 sugar and 1 cup buttermilk.

Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 F, 350 F if you are baking in the loaf pan. Grease a large baking sheet or an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch (6-cup) loaf pan.

Whisk together thoroughly in a large bowl:

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Stir in:

1 cup raisins
2 teaspoons caraway seeds

Whisk together in another bowl:

1 large egg
2/3 cup buttermilk, or 1 cup for the tea loaf
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) warm melted unsalted butter

Add to the flour mixture and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened. The batter will be stiff but sticky. Scrape the batter onto the baking sheet in a mound 6 to 7 inches in diameter or scrape it into the loaf pan and spread evenly. Use a sharp knife to slash a large X about 1/2 inch deep on top of the batter. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes on the baking sheet, 45 to 50 minutes in the loaf pan. Transfer the bread to a rack to cool completely before serving. Or, if using a loaf pan, let cool in the pan on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes before unmolding to cool completely on the rack.

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