If you want to make bread, but you are a little scared, I suggest you start with this Irish soda bread with raisins. Or you could also try my recipe for no knead cinnamon raisin bread. Both recipes are essentially no knead raisin breads. But the Irish soda bread has no rest time so it’s much faster. Try it and let me know if you like it!
You know when you are tired, and your guard is down. You wrap yourself in a wooly shawl and eat an entire loaf of bread with more salted butter than any one human should consume in a day because you are tired. And of course, you eat the bread because the bread is good and you love butter. It’s comforting, just like the shawl. But you aren’t eating it because you are hungry. You are eating it because you are tired. You might be eating it with the hope of feeling energized and awake. Does bread lead to energy? It should, in theory. Does this happen to you too? Am I the only one?
See, I started the day with a healthy breakfast: yogurt, berries, homemade granola. I followed it up with a couple of slices of bread and butter. The bread was fresh. How could I not? I proceeded to head back and forth between desk and kitchen for slice after slice after slice throughout the morning. I love bread. I made homemade soup because that was the plan and I ate the soup for a late lunch, and it was really quite healthy. It totally hit the spot. But then I went back for more bread. I ate an apple with a portion of cheese, a very reasonable snack. And then more bread. I was having “one of those days,” I guess. After all that bread and butter, I took a nap. The day clearly wasn’t as productive as planned. Most of the day was spent going back and forth for bread. And more bread. Good thing that tomorrow is another day! On the bright side, I’m pretty sure I won when it comes to number of steps taken to consume bread according to my Fitbit.
For this recipe, I used my favourite Nordic Ware 3 quart Dutch oven (available on Amazon). I’ve used it for no knead bread, and this soda bread recipe. I’m probably supposed to use it for stews and such, but I guess mine is dedicated to baked goods, and specifically breads. Figures! There are a million and one Irish soda bread recipes on the internet. Some of them are very heavy handed with the baking soda. This one is less so. The loaf can be sliced and enjoyed with, you guessed it: salted butter. I added some whole wheat flour and oats to this bread. I bet you could actually make the entire recipe in the food processor, then give it a few quick kneads by hand before baking. I haven’t tried that yet, but I have a very good feeling that this sort of recipe is quite forgiving. I’d also like to see what would have happened had melted the butter to add it. Guess I have no choice but to eat more bread. Sound familiar? Remember that time I made that grape focaccia? I have no control or will power when it comes to fresh bread! But I digress… Since St-Patty’s Day is coming up, I thought this was a good time to share this easy Irish soda bread with raisins recipe. Enjoy!
- 85 grams (1 cup) large flake (rolled) oats
- 250 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 250 grams (2 cups) whole wheat flour
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 58 grams (4 tbsp) unsalted butter
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 large egg
- 500 mL (2 cups) buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Blitz together the oats and flours to chop the oats a little (optional). Transfer to a large bowl, then add the sugar, salt, and baking soda. Whisk everything together.
- Work the butter into the flour mixture with your fingers until it resembles a coarse crumble, then stir in raisins.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and the buttermilk.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture. Pour the beaten egg and buttermilk into the well and mix in with a wooden spoon until dough is too stiff to stir. Dust hands with a little flour, then gently knead dough in the bowl just long enough to form a rough ball. Transfer the dough onto a large piece of parchment and then shape it into a round loaf. Pick up the parchment corners to gather it together and plop everything (paper and all) into a Dutch oven (I like this Nordic Ware 3 quart Dutch oven available on Amazon. Using a serrated knife, score top of dough about 1⁄2'' deep in an "X" shape. Sprinkle with a few more oats if you have some. Transfer to oven and bake until bread is a deep brown all over, about 40 minutes. Transfer bread to a rack to let cool briefly. Serve bread warm, at room temperature, or sliced and toasted.
Adapted from Saveur.