Irish soda bread (with variant for spotted do

Yield: 2 Servings

Measure Ingredient
6 cups All purpose flour
2 teaspoons Baking soda
2 teaspoons Baking powder
3 tablespoons Cornstarch
2 teaspoons Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
2½ cup Buttermilk ***
½ cup Raisins or sultanas


*** may substitute 2½ cup water and 10 tablespoons buttermilk powder.

Preheat Oven to 375 degrees.

Add all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix very well. (If making Spotted Dog variant, then add raisins.) Pour all of the buttermilk into the bowl at once and stir, using a wooden spoon, just until a soft dough is formed. Do not try to make it smooth at this point. Pour the contents of the bowl out onto a plastic counter and knead for a minute or so until everything comes together. You may need to add a bit more flour depending on humidity. The dough should be smooth, not sticky.

Divide the dough into two portions and shape each into a round loaf, pressing the top down a bit to just barely flatten it. Place the loaves on a large ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle some additional flour on the top of each loaf and, using a sharp paring knife, make the sign of the Cross in slashes on the top of each.

Allow the loaves to rest for 10 minutes and then bake on the middle rack of the oven for 40 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown and done to taste.

Cool on racks.

Adapted from: The Frugal Gourmet on Our Immigrant Ancestors, by Jeff Smith. Entered by Dale & Gail Shipp, Columbia Md. Personal comment: a close Irish friend gives her stamp of approval on this as being an authentic Irish soda bread. She supplied the "Spotted Dog" variant.

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