Irish Soda Bread
The original ingredients in Irish soda bread were flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk. Newer Irish-American versions often contain butter, sugar, dried fruit and caraway seeds. Both make a hearty loaf perfect for snacks or any meal. Every slice in this recipe is more than 75 percent whole grain, so each is filled with cancer-, diabetes-, and heart disease-fighting nutrients and antioxidants. Raisins can be substituted for currants, but the tinier dried currants spread more evenly throughout the bread. (You’ll find currants in the raisin aisle.) The traditional cross on top helps the bread’s center bake through.
Makes 1 large loaf (14 wedge slices)
3 1/4 cups white whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
3/4 cup dried currants
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1 large egg
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Coat an 8-inch round cake pan with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
3. Stir in caraway seeds and currants.
4. In a separate bowl, mix together buttermilk, egg and melted butter with a fork.
5. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the liquid mixture. Stir just until all ingredients are moistened. There will be some shaggy pieces at the bottom of the bowl.
6. Knead dough in bowl four times, picking up and incorporating shaggy pieces while kneading.
7. Form the dough into a ball, then a rounded circle about 7 inches wide.
8. Place in prepared pan. Cut a cross at least 1 1/2 inches deep into the top.
9. Bake 40 minutes or until bread is browned and toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. If it appears to be browning too quickly, tent a sheet of foil over top for final 15 minutes of cooking.
10. Remove from pan immediately and place on wire rack to cool. Serve warm.
Nutrition information (per serving)
6.5 g protein
34 g carbohydrates
5 g fat (3 g saturated)
27 mg cholesterol
325 mg sodium
240 mg potassium
63 mg calcium
1.8 mg iron
165 IU vitamin A
0 mg vitamin C
4 g fiber