Soda bread is a staple for the Irish. It is a great snack and quick and easy to make.
NOTE: Work fast! The baking soda and powder are what make this bread rise, there isn’t any yeast. The soda reacts with liquid and begins the first rise, while the powder reacts with the heat of the oven and starts the second rise. So if you are too slow with getting the dough in the oven, the first rise will sink before the second starts and your bread will be flat and no good!
5 Cups flour
1 tsps baking soda
1 tsps salt
5 tsps of baking powder
1 stick of butter-softened
1 ¼ cup raisins
2 eggs beaten
¾ cup of sugar
1 1/2-2 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 375F
Mix flour, soda, salt and baking powder in large bowl.
Unwrap butter and use wrapper to grease baking sheet later. Mix butter in flour mixture with spoon.
Add raisins, eggs, and sugar. Mix in really well. Spoons and such will stop working at some point, and at that point you will have to start using your hands. Reach down and scoop the dry mixture up from the bottom of the bowl and push it back into the dough using your fists or heels of your hands. Make sure the raisins are fully coated with the flour mixtures. When you bake with fruit, if it isn’t coated before you add the liquid, it will just sink to the bottom when you bake it. Coating it keeps the raisins suspended right in the middle where you want them!
Add the buttermilk a little at a time. Keep a close eye on the mixture as you mix. This works bests as a two person job, so find a friend that wants one of the first slices of fresh bread! Stop adding buttermilk as soon as the dough gets sticky. The dough should be damp and thoroughly mixed, but not a sticky, gooey, messy, blob.
Sprinkle a surface with flour and turn the dough out onto it. Knead dough 10 times, push down and away from you with the heels of your hands and fold the sides of the dough back onto it’s self. Turn the dough every once and a while so you get an even press.
Cut the dough in half and shape it into two balls.
Use the butter wrapper to grease the baking sheets and place the dough on them.
Slice a X in each loaf on top.
Bake in oven for 45-60 minutes, or until light -golden brown. When down, move to iron rack and cool.
Makes 2 HUGE loaves, so make some friends, and if they come with a little pot of gold, even better ;)