Sunday, March 9, 2008

Irish Soda Bread

3-3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped (or raisins or dried currants)
2 cups buttermilk
1 egg

Preheat the oven to 375o F.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dried cranberries and mix well.

In another bowl, stir together the buttermilk and the egg. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture, and stir well until everything is blended. The dough will be pretty soft - that’s ok. Sprinkle some additional flour onto the counter or table (or wherever you like to work) and turn the dough out onto this floured surface. Knead the dough about 10 times - just to make it smooth-ish and pliable. Gently form it into one large, round loaf and place it on a well-greased baking sheet. With a very sharp knife, cut a shallow X into the top of the loaf. This will allow the loaf to expand in a tasteful and attractive manner in the oven, rather than splitting weirdly.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until the loaf is nicely browned, and a toothpick poked into the middle of it comes out clean.

Makes one large round loaf.

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