I never made Irish Soda Bread until this recent St. Patrick’s Day. Susan has been asking me to make it for years. “My mother always made it,” she said. “Would you make it for me?”
I did. It was delicious.
I used a recipe from Julee Rosso’s cookbook, Great Good Food. Rosso is the co-author of the Silver Palate cookbooks and The New Basics Cookbook, which I believe total over 5 million copies in print.
She writes: “Grandma Clark taught me how she made this in the Old Country for special occasions. I know she’d like the taste of this one, even without the amount of butter she used.”
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1-½ teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ cup sugar (Next time I might cut back on the sugar; 1/2 cup perhaps.)
- Juice of two oranges (I also added the zest of the oranges.)
- 1-½ cups golden raisins
- 1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped (Rosso called for 1/4 cup applesauce; I didn’t have it.)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1-¾ cups buttermilk
- 2 egg whites
- 1 egg, well beaten
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly spray or wipe a 12 to 14 inch cast-iron skillet with vegetable oil (I used a bit of butter.) Line the buttered skillet with a circle of waxed paper. Melt 2 more tablespoons of butter and set aside.
In a small saucepan over low heat, place the raisins and orange juice and chopped apple. Macerate until the raisins are plump. About 5 minutes. Drain.
Sift dry ingredients together. Add raisins, apples, zest to dry ingredients and toss well to coat.
Whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, oil. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until just blended.
Spoon batter into the prepared skillet and smooth top. Drizzle the melted butter over the dough.
Bake until golden brown and puffed, about 1 hour. (Mine was done after 55 minutes.) Either serve warm directly from skillet, or let cool completely on a rack, and then wrap carefully and refrigerate overnight.
I served this with, what else, corned beef and cabbage!