Thursday, March 15, 2012

Irish Soda Bread from Ina Garten

I decided that we needed one more culinary ode to Ireland before St. Patrick's Day actually arrived.  What better than Ina Garten's Irish soda bread?  Remembering just how sticky the dough can be, I threw open a few windows in the kitchen for a nice breeze to cool my brow while I kneaded away.  I really should have put the air conditioning into use because it was 82 degrees here at noon.  Here in the midwest!  Here where we've had some of the biggest snows in mid-March!  To be honest, I've overdramatized the kneading as there's very little to be done.  I've not overdramatized our weather.  It is glorious!

I did tweak Ina's recipe just a tiny bit.  Why would I do that?  Certainly not because it needed tweaking.  I did it because I only had raisins in the house.  Ina uses currants.  I tripled the amount of orange zest simply because I had that much when I finished grating the orange.

Don't despair at the very sticky dough that you fear might just slide off the baking sheet.  It doesn't!  It holds it's place and, in about 45 minutes, you have this lovely golden loaf.

While it's still slightly warm, slice yourself a silky piece..or two..slather with a little butter and some orange marmalade.  It was lunch time.  I had a glass of cold milk.  Had it been 3 p.m., I'd have prepared a pot of tea.

Irish Soda Bread inspired by Ina Garten

4 cups flour, plus extra for raisins
4 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 Tbsp cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 3/4 cups cold buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp grated orange zest
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper

1.  Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Combine on low speed for 30 seconds.  Scatter the butter in and mix, on low speed, until the butter is crumbled into the flour.
2.  In another bowl, lightly beat the buttermilk, egg and orange zest together.  With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture for about 1 minute or until flour is incorporated.  Combine the raisins with one tablespoon of flour and then mix into the dough.  The dough will be very wet and sticky.
3.  Liberally flour a wooden board and scrape the dough out onto the board.  Using well-floured hands (I used a dough scraper too), knead the dough a few times and form into a rough, round loaf.  Place the loaf onto the prepared sheet pan and cut an X into the top (not easy with the soft dough--I ended up cutting a rough X with kitchen scissors).  Bake for 45-50 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  The loaf should sound hollow when tapped.
4.  Cool on a rack.  Delicious served warm or at room temperature.



  1. Greetings! Do you know I have never made that bread. I noticed a recipe for it in my bread machine cookbook and think I will give it a whirl for this weekend. I adore Ina Garten. Isn't she just so real. And her die for!! Love all of her books! So, not yet Spring where you are, I guess. But I hear you are having awfully warm temps!!!
    Happy day my friend.

  2. I've not made Ina's recipe -- I have an old recipe from a KC restaurant that I always make -- alas it is also raisin less! but I do think that I will try Ina's -- not for St. Patrick's but just as a good bread to have with soup!

  3. It looks great! I'm sure it won't last long:@)

  4. i love to mske bread snd thid look awesome:)

  5. Oh Bonnie, I was just checking out an "Irish Soda Bread" recipe in a new magazine I picked up today. I am thinking it would be a fabulous St. Patty's day treat. I love anything by "The Contessa".

    I am a good distance below you and our high was 82 as well. Break out the ice cubes. Hugs! Bonnie

  6. Oh it looks delicious! I'll bet your home smelled just wonderful! We bought ours at Trader Joe's! I can't wait to make French Toast on Sunday with it!

    Have a great weekend!

  7. Sounds very yummy--especially right from the oven.


  8. Yum! With tea when it's cold, and with icy milk when it's hot!

  9. It looks good, but even more impressive is your weather..just amazing. I'm about ready to dig out some shorts to wear it was so hot yesterday...

  10. I have seen a few posts on Ina's soda bread recipe-love her recipes. I have never been disappointed,

    Seriously 82 degrees in the midwest-wow. Its 82 degrees here too, but we live in the south. :-)

    Have a great weekend.


  11. I KNEW I smelled something wonderful. bread is my addiction and this would feed it perfectly.

  12. I saw Ina's recipe while I was looking for one and it looked so good, but more complicated than I wanted to do at the moment. I may have to make it another time.

  13. ha ha, when you said Ina I knew lots of butter would be involved. I wonder if the Dairy Farmers of America bribe her!

  14. I like your recipe!! good as it gets !
    And Happy Saint Patricks Day!

  15. I would enjoy a slice of this with my tea as I go through my correspondence. It looks wonderful, Bonnie. Have a great weekend. Blessings...Mary

  16. Hasn't the weather been amazing?! I have never made Irish soda bread but if it's Ina's recipe, I'm sure it's delicious! It really looks good.

  17. I have never made soda bread and now you inspire me to give it a try. I love Ina Garten.
    Your new header is a show stopper!très Beau!

  18. yum...bread never lasts long when I'm around; no matter what kind! I love fresh baked bread!

  19. Loved catching up with you today and seeing all the Irish dishes. Great way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.
    This really looks good. Wish I were there now enjoying a piece. lol
    Hope you have a wonderful week

  20. This recipe looks great! I just picke up one of Ina's cookbook from a thrift store. I can't wait to try more. Sometime you just gotta tweak even Ina's recipes.


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