A Nice Irish Tea Bread
It's after St. Patrick's Day, so I can safely post this recipe without the nasty emails from the Irish Soda Bread purists!
REAL Irish soda bread has no sugar, and has caraway seeds.....I know, I know.
I love it. It gets rock hard the next day and is great toasted with butter.
I have been making my husband's godmother's recipe (Mrs. Dale, a good Irish woman) for years.......it's tried and true....and always round. Make one for me, and one to give away.
I like my soda bread on the sweet side....more like a cake.....we know I love cake.
I was attracted to this recipe on the King Arthur Flour website called an "American Irish Soda Bread".....made American by adding the sugar, I guess.
I don't want to fight with any lasses this week, so am calling this a "tea bread"!
That's what it is in my book....a nice moist loaf with raisins and currants, perfect for afternoon tea or anytime.
I did not have sparkling sugar for the top, but I did have confetti sparkling sugar! So made it flashy!
*Regarding buttermilk....you don't have to run out and buy a carton for this easy recipe.....just use this formula:
1 cup of milk to 1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
Let the curdled milk sit for 15 minutes on the counter (the recipe uses 1 3/4 cup of buttermilk, so I used 2 tbsp lemon juice)
Irish Tea Loaf (adapted from King Arthur Flour website):
3 cups Pastry Flour Blend or King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
heaping 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup currants or raisins (I mixed 1/2 c golden raisins + 1/2 c Zante currants)
1 tablespoon caraway seeds, (optional)
1 large egg
1 3/4 cups buttermilk*
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon coarse white sparkling sugar (use turbinado sugar if you don't have "sparkling" sugar)
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together the pastry blend or flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, currants, and caraway seeds.
In a separate bowl, or in a measuring cup, whisk together the egg and buttermilk (or milk and lemon juice).
Quickly and gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
Stir in the melted butter.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
Using a pastry brush, brush the milk or cream over the top and sprinkle with the coarse sugar.
Bake the bread for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove the bread from the oven, loosen its edges, and after 5 minutes turn it out onto a rack to cool. Cool completely before slicing. Wrap airtight and store at room temperature.
When it gets stale (after a few days), just put the slices in a pan with a tablespoon of butter. Even better!
This is a WONDERFUL LOAF!