It’s not even March, but I saw the first snowdrops blooming near my house today, so I’m getting a leg up on Saint Patrick’s Day by making my favorite Irish Soda Bread, which I like to dress up with currants and apples (the recipe first ran in my first book, The Apple Lover’s Cookbook). Now, […]
It’s not even March, but I saw the first snowdrops blooming near my house today, so I’m getting a leg up on Saint Patrick’s Day by making my favorite Irish Soda Bread, which I like to dress up with currants and apples (the recipe first ran in my first book, The Apple Lover’s Cookbook). Now, I realize this is different from authentic Irish bread, which is made with just flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. My bread is really more like a giant scone. But it’s what Americans have come to think of as soda bread, and it’s so very delicious and easy to make.
Irish Soda Bread with Apples and Currants
Total time: 65 minutes; hands-on time: 25 minutes
Ingredients for Irish Soda Bread with Apples and Currants
2 1/4 to 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan
1 cup buttermilk
1 large firm-tart apple, such as Granny Smith or Northern Spy, peeled, cored, and cut into small cubes
1/2 cup currants
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
Method for Irish Soda Bread with Apples and Currants
1. Preheat oven to 375° and set a rack to the middle position. Generously grease a cake pan with butter. In a large bowl, whisk together 2 1/4 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Add the butter and stir until the flour is mostly coated. Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk. Gently stir just until moistened. If the dough seems too wet, add additional flour, 1/4 cup at a time. The dough should look very shaggy. Add the apples, currants, and caraway seeds and stir just to combine.
2. Using floured hands, shape the dough into a ball. Transfer to the prepared pan and flatten slightly (the dough will not reach the edges of the pan). Sprinkle with the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar.
3. Bake until the top of the loaf is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool for 15 minutes. Gently turn the bread out of the pan and cool on the rack for an additional 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.