Scheck, Please! Media

  • Jeremy Scheck

Irish Soda Bread with Golden Raisins


This tender quick bread made with orange zest and buttermilk has just the suggestion of sweetness and the texture of a scone...what more could you want on this St. Patrick's Day? The recipe makes two loaves, so I recommend IMMEDIATELY giving one away or else you will eat both in one sitting. While I like the nuttiness from the bit whole wheat flour, if you find it especially annoying to buy a whole bag just for this recipe, it's fine to use just all purpose flour.

Adapted from Food Wishes

Ingredients:

  • 3 and 1/4 cups (407g) all purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup (63g) whole wheat flour

  • 4 tablespoons oats (rolled are preferred; quick are fine)

  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1/2 stick (57g) unsalted butter, cold and chopped in small pieces

  • 1 and 3/4 full fat buttermilk

  • 1 egg

  • 2 or 3 tablespoons honey

  • Grated zest of 1 orange

  • 1 and 1/3 cups dried fruit, a combination of golden raisins, currants, and cranberries is good.

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F, convection if you have it. Line a half–sheet pan with a silpat or parchment baking paper.

  2. Whisk together the flours, oats, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.

  3. Add in the butter, and use your fingers to rub it with the flour mixture into thin strips.

  4. In a large jug whisk together the buttermilk, egg, honey, and orange zest.

  5. Add the wet mixture and the dried fruit to the flour mixture and mix with clean hands just until no flour streaks are visible. The dough should be quite sticky.

  6. Scrape the dough onto a well–floured work surface. Divide in two, and form each half into a round, between 1.5" and 2" tall. Transfer both to the prepared baking sheet, let rest for 15 mins.

  7. Brush the tops with a dash of leftover buttermilk, and slash the tops with of both loaves with a sharp knife in the shape of a cross.

  8. Bake 40–45 minutes, until the loaves are deeply golden brown and sound hollow when tapped lightly on the underside.

  9. Let cool completely before enjoying slathered in Irish butter.