Ireland. The home of Bono, Guinness, and all things green. The gorgeous country where I first declared my love for my husband while studying abroad and returned as a newly wed years later for a week of driving deathly narrow roads, hiking stunning cliffs and hills, and lounging in pubs every night. Fond memories abound for The Emerald Isle, including some wonderful meals we had while there. Granted the Irish may not have a reputation as culinary masters; however, they do a few things really well: beer, a full Irish breakfast, anything with potatoes, and, let’s be honest, they make some mean bread.
I discovered this recipe years ago, but only recently made a few edits to make it my own. It is astoundingly simple to make with ingredients you already have on hand. Minimal kneeding is required and, in just 30 minutes, you can enjoy delicious bread hot out of the oven. While I’m sure this is not an authentically Irish recipe, personally it takes me back. Hot tea, the wild Irish coast, and a thick, buttered slice of bread. Yum.
Irish Soda Bread
Adapted from Cooking Light
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
2 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 1/2 t baking soda
3/4 t salt
2 c milk
1 c small raisins or currants
Preheat oven to 450°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients and stir well with a wooden spoon. Create a crater in the middle of the flour mixture and add the milk and raisins or currents. Stir until just combined.
Flour your hands and then kneed the dough (still in the bowl) 6-7 times. Shape the dough into an 8″ round and place on the prepared baking sheet. Using a long, sharp knife, cut a deep cross into the top of the loaf.
Bake for 15 minutes at 450°, then lower the temperature to 400° and bake for an additional 15 minutes (do not remove bread from oven when you adjust the temperature).
Serve warm with butter.