Irish Soda Bread


Barefoot Contessa-Irish soda bread is a really easy way to have a gorgeous hot bread come out of the oven without dealing with yeast and all those risings. Most soda breads taste pretty bland to me, so I decided to play around and see if I could just turn up the volume on the flavor. Orange zest and currants really did the trick.

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for the currants
  • 4 tablespoons sugar (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice (1/2 stick)
  • 1 3/4 cups cold buttermilk, shaken
  • 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 cup dried currants

  • Directions:

    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parch ment paper.

    Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is mixed into the flour.

    With a fork, lightly beat the buttermilk, egg, and orange zest together in a measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. Combine the currants with 1 tablespoon of flour and mix into the dough. It will be very wet.

    Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and knead it a few times into a round loaf. Place the loaf on the prepared sheet pan and lightly cut an X into the top of the bread with a serrated knife. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. When you tap the loaf, it will have a hollow sound.

    Cool on a baking rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

    Copyright © July 3, 2008