Irish Soda Bread - American Style - Recipe

I love St. Patrick's Day, and I have tried making different versions of Irish soda bread over the years to celebrate.  To be honest the purist versions, left me disappointed.  I decided to sway from my uber traditionalness and give in to the American style.

Yes, it is not the pure Irish version which has just 4 ingredients (flour, salt, soda, buttermilk).  That is a bit austere, and while it has its place, I prefer the American style that adds more ingredients for flavor and improved texture.

I wanted a version that used some whole grains though, because I really dislike an all white bread.  No dry crumbly soda bricks here.  I doubt they had a lot of bleached, highly processed white flour in Ireland in the old days.  I added oat flour too, because it has a nice nutty flavor, and it adds a little moistness to the texture.  An egg helps with leavening, flavor, and texture.  I have seen some American versions including baking powder.  Not here.  I just use baking soda, and it comes through with just the right amount of soda flavor.  Yes, I add sugar.  -Not too sweet though.  Instead of buttermilk, I use goat yogurt, because that is what I like to bake with, simple as that.  You may use regular yogurt if you like.  Currents are yummy and fun.  You can try other dried fruit to experiment.

I also bake it in a covered Dutch oven to start with, then take the lid off to finish baking.  Traditionally the soda breads were cooked in a pot over an over fire.

What comes out is a beautiful round loaf that will even taste good the next day.  I like to slice and toast mine the next day too.

Irish Soda Bread - American Style

 (Serves 8)

1 1/2 c. Organic Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 c. Organic Oat Flour
2 c. All Purpose Unbleached Flour
1/4 c. Sugar
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
6 T. Cold Butter
1 c. Currents
1 c. Goat Yogurt
1 Egg
1/2 c. Cold Water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease the bottom and sides of a round Dutch oven.  I use a 5.5 qt oven.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together flours, sugar, soda, and salt.  Cut the butter into the flour mixture and mix with your hands, pinching the butter to incorporate into the flour.  Stir in the currents.

In a small bowl mix the yogurt and egg together with a fork.  Make a well in the center and add the yogurt/egg mixture and water.  Stir together quickly with a wooden spoon, adding additional water if needed.  It will seem slightly dry.  Bring together with your hands into a ball.  Flatten a little and place in the prepared Dutch oven.  Cut a deep cross across the top.  It will have a ragged appearance.

Place the lid on the Dutch oven and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove the cover and bake for 25 more minutes until the bread is golden brown.  Remove from the pot and cool on a rack for a few minutes.  Serve warm.


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