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Irish Soda Bread Two Ways

I know this is a little late, but I made it the night before St. Patrick’s day and had to make a couple of tweaks to my recipes. I have to say that St. Patrick’s Day is my favorite holiday. Not because of green beer (I find that to be kind of tacky actually) but because of the meal that my mom makes every year. Corned beef & cabbage. Bread pudding with whiskey caramel sauce. Irish coffee. Baileys spiked cupcakes. And, my favorite, Irish Soda Bread.

I was saddened to find out that our family recipe given to us by an Irish nun (she claimed this recipe was from the emerald isle) is not actually a traditional recipe. So in addition to making our recipe gluten free, I also made a traditional plain loaf gluten free as well.

I have to say that I am really pleased at how these loaves turned out. They are dense breads, but the texture is pretty close to how I remember their glutinous counterparts. They are great quick breads any time of the year!

A couple of tips: if you think the dough is too dry, add moisture slowly – it can easily be overly wet. And, no matter your religious affiliation, the cross (or X) in the top of the bread actually provides a scientific benefit – it allows the bread to rise more, so no wimpy cuts.

Irish American Soda Bread

(adapted from my Mom’s secret family recipe)

  • 3 Cups Gluten Free Flour Blend (I used Cheatin Wheat )
  • 1.5 teaspoons xantham gum if your flour blend does not have it
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins

Soak raisins in enough buttermilk to cover (about 1/2 cup) for 5-10mins. Preheat oven to 375. Mix flour, flax, salt & soda – I used a whisk to make sure there were no lumps. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender (a fork will work if you don’t have one) until the mixture resembles cornmeal/sand.  Add the buttermilk (1 cup) and stir until dry ingredients are moistened. Drain extra buttermilk off the raisins and add the raisins.  Knead dough breifly with your hands to mix in raisins. If dough is still too dry, add the buttermilk that you drained off the raisins. Pat into a round cake and place on a buttered baking sheet. Cut a cross into the top about 1 inch deep and most of the way across. Bake for 40 mins. When the bread is done, it will be a light golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.

Serve warm with butter whipped with honey.

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

(adapted from Epicurious)

  • 3 1/2 cups gluten free flour blend (I used Jules’s)
  • 1 teaspoon baking-soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (about) buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins (optional – they change this from basic soda bread to “spotted dog”)
  • Soak your raisins (if using) in about half a cup of your buttermilk. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Whisk the dry ingredients together. Dump in the raisins and the buttermilk that they are soaking in. Mix together well. Add more buttermilk as needed to get the dough to clump together. The dough will be quite sticky if you put in too much – it is sticky enough when it is just right! Knead it together in the bowl with your hands. Place dough formed into an 8″ circle on a greased baking sheet. Cut a cross in the top about 1 inch deep. Bake for 35-40 mins until the loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.

     

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