Irish Soda Bread. Or Maybe It’s Just Another Quick-Bread…

So… I have a confession (or 2). I’m afraid of yeast. And I love bread. That’s NOT a great combination. Luckily for me… there’s Quick-Breads! No yeast… no rising… YAY!
I’m not sure what makes this particular bread “Irish Soda Bread”. I think it has something to do with science. Bicarbs… or something like that. I know most Irish Soda Bread recipes use currents or raisins, but I wanted something I could eat with dinner. Raisins don’t go with dinner. 😉
This was my second attempt at Irish Soda Bread. For the first attempt I used the original ingredients (it called for margarine, not butter), and the original directions. It didn’t work out so well for me. I had a rather large round of bread that didn’t appear baked after 50 minutes in the oven! By the time I thought it was done the crust was WAAAAAY too brown (almost burnt), and the bread was dry inside. It’s possible that I over-kneaded it, or over floured the counter top. I also cut my X too deep, and the crust basically fell off when I tried to cut it into slices. I also accidentally smooshed it… hence the wicked ugly smooshed picture!
My version changes the directions a little bit. I decided to add the butter in after whisking (by hand) the dry ingredients in hopes that the dry ingredients would be more evenly combined. If you don’t feel like using a million attachments (and if you have one) you could probably use a pastry cutter to add in the butter. Or do it by hand. I also whisked the egg into the buttermilk this time, because in the original I had to beat the heck out of the dough to break up the egg. I used the dough hook during this attempt because (in the first try) the dough kept getting stuck to my regular mixing attachment. It also seemed to make the dough less crumbly. It came together nice, I only had to knead it in the bowl 3x. I baked it in 2 smaller rounds instead of one large round so I could cut down the baking time a smidge.
The second attempt came out sooo much better. The crust was a nice light brown and the bread was nice and moist (ugh, I really don’t like that word). It sliced nicely too.
And finally… the toothpick trick isn’t perfect, I still had a few small crumbs stuck to it. Just make sure it’s not doughy, the tooth pick should slide out of the loaf easily.
Overall, this Irish Soda Bread will probably stay in my quick-bread rotation. Along with a basic cornbread, and this FAAAANTASTIC Buttery Bear Quick Bread.
Happy Baking!
-Hey Waitress!!
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