Joann Dornich's Irish Soda Bread
Makes 1 round loaf
3 cups sifted flour (can use half whole wheat and half white)
3 tablespoons sugar
1tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup currants or raisins
1 1/3 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons hot water
Preheat oven to 375°F. Sift flour, the three tablespoons of sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium-sized bowl. Mix in currants and caraway seeds. Add buttermilk and mix until well blended (dough will be sticky.)
Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead about 10 times. Shape into an 8-inch round loaf. Place on a greased (or sprayed or parchment-lined) baking sheet. Cut a cross (+) into the top of the loaf with a sharp knife. (Note: Joann cuts this really deeply, about a third of the way into the dough.)
Bake at 375°F for 45 minutes. Dissolve sugar for the glaze in the hot water in a cup and brush generously over the hot loaf. Bake ten minutes longer until richly golden brown.
Instead of using a sugar-water glaze on the top of the bread at the end, you can also soak the currants or raisins in about 1/3 cup of hot water while you are preparing the dry ingredients. When ready to add the fruit to the dough, drain and reserve the liquid to use for the final glaze to impart an even deeper, richer color to the finished loaf.
To order a copy of Anne’s cookbook “Seasons of Central Pennsylvania” visit Penn State University Press.
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