Irish Soda Bread

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One of my daughter’s friends recently asked me for a recipe for Soda Bread and it reminded me that it I been a long time since I’d made it myself.  It’s a very simple, rustic bread.  No yeast.  No proofing.  No rising.  Very little kneading.  Easy to pull together.  I think I got this recipe years ago from a newspaper article on traditional St. Patrick’s day dishes and I tweeked it a bit.   I love adding citrus zest, preferably orange but even grapefruit zest brightens it up.  It tastes best warm from the oven but then most breads do.

Ingredients:

4 cups AP flour

4 T granulated sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 T baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup cold butter cubed

1 1/4 cups buttermilk

1 egg

1 tsp citrus zest (I used orange)

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Preheat the oven to 375.  Whisk together dry ingredients.  Cube the butter.  In an electric mixer with a paddle attachment add the butter to the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until the butter is mixed in.

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Whisk together the buttermilk, egg, and zest.  With the mixer running on low add the buttermilk egg mixture and beat until incorporated.  The dough will be moist and a little sticky.  Remove the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead a few times sprinkling with a little additional flour if necessary.  Shape into a round loaf and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

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Mix together:

1/4 cup melted butter

1/4 cup buttermilk

Generously brush the loaf with the butter-buttermilk mixture.  I also brush the mixture on a couple additional times during the baking process.  Bake for 45-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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Cool on a wire rack.  Slice and enjoy!  Great with a little drizzle of honey or homemade preserves.

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