With St. Patrick's Day right around the corner, I've been excited to start sharing my family's American-Irish foodie take on the holiday. A staple in our house this time of year is a Silver Palate Cookbook recipe for Soda Bread (having had proper Irish soda bread in Ireland, I'll confess that this is not perhaps the most traditional incarnation of this tasty bread - but it's the version I grew up eating, so it -- paired with a hot cup of Irish Breakfast Tea, jam, and clotted cream -- will always hold a special place in my heart!), the recipe for which I've transcribed below:
Grandma Clark's Soda Bread from The Silver Palate Cookbook by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins
6 T. sweet butter
3 c. unbleached AP flour
1 1/2 t. salt
1 T. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1-1/2 c. dried currants
1-3/4 c. buttermilk
2 eggs, well beaten
1 T. caraway seeds (optional)
Though the original recipe calls for a cast iron skillet, our family always used a cake mold pan with a removable bottom. The recipe calls for smearing 2 T. of the butter on the skillet bottom and sides and then lining with a circle of waxed (or parchment) paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift dry ingredients together. Add currants and toss well to coat.
Melt 2 T. of butter and add to bowl, whisking together with buttermilk and eggs. Add to the separate bowl of dry ingredients (with caraway seeds, if desired). Do not over mix.
Spoon batter into the prepared skillet (or cake pan) and smooth top gently with spatula. Top with remaining 2 T. of butter, cut into small bits.
Bake until golden brown and puffed, about 60 minutes. Cool slightly and then remove from skillet (or cake mold pan). Cool completely on rack or serve warm, cut into wedges, with clotted cream, Irish butter and preserves.