Grandma Charlotte’s Best-Ever Irish Soda Bread
Oh, this bread. I made a loaf this morning and when it came out of the oven I stood at the stove with my Butter Bell in hand, cutting off warm slices and slathering them with butter. I haven’t done that since the days when my D.C. roommate Amy and I would make queso and scoop it onto chips right out of the pot. But that, as Kipling would say, is another story.
The bread is so easy to make—I just throw everything into the standing mixer, knead the dough into shape, and it comes out great.
The editor side of me thought I should google Irish Soda Bread to make sure this version is authentic. But Grandma Charlotte was mostly Irish and I’m nearly half Irish and this is our bread, so there you go.
Grandma Charlotte’s Irish Soda Bread
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soda
3 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. caraway seeds (I’m not a big fan, so I just sprinkle some on top)
Cut in 4 Tbsp. butter
In a separate bowl, beat together 1 egg and 1 1/2 cups buttermilk.
Add to dough and mix until the dough holds together. Turn out on a floured board and gently knead into a 4-inch ball. Flatten slightly so bread is about 3 inches tall and cut an X in the top. Beat 1 egg and brush over the top to improve browning.
Wet a baking sheet with water and place bread on the sheet. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until loaf sounds hollow when you tap it on the bottom. Remove the bread from the oven and serve as soon as you can! With lots of soft butter. (If you’re not eating the bread right away, place the baking sheet on the counter and cover with a damp cloth to cool.)