Irish Soda Bread to Feed Your Soul

Recipe, styling and photography by Petar Mitrovic.

Ah, home-baked bread. It’s the simple things that are often the best.

1 3/4 cups (420 ml) buttermilk or kefir
1 large egg
4 1/4 cups (515 g) all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting

3 tablespoons (40 g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons (70 g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed

optional: 1 cup (150 g) raisins

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (210 degrees C).
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together buttermilk and egg. Set aside. In another bowl, tip in the flour, granulated sugar, baking soda and salt. Whisk together for a minute or so.
3. Rub butter into dry ingredients using a pastry cutter, fork or your fingertips until dough resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in raisins, if using.
4. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in buttermilk mixture. Gently fold dough together until it is too stiff to stir. Lightly flour your work surface and your hands. Turn out the dough and bring together into an 8 or 9-inch rounded loaf.
5. Gently knead dough for about 30 seconds. If dough
is too sticky, add a little more flour. Be careful not to overwork the dough, as this toughens the bread. Transfer dough to your baking sheet. Using a very sharp knife, score an X into the top.
6. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when you tap on it. Check halfway through – if the top is browning too quickly, loosely
cover with aluminum foil for remainder of baking time.
7. Remove from oven and allow bread to cool on
baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire
rack for another 45 minutes or so.
8. Serve warm, at room temperature or toasted with
your favourite spreads and toppings.

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