While classic Irish soda bread contains only baking soda as a leavening, it is a bread that you would most likely serve the day it is made since it dries out very quickly. This bread machine recipe for Irish soda bread not only contains yeast which boosts the bread’s texture, but the traditional baking soda and buttermilk so the integrity of the bread is preserved. Brown sugar and Lyle’s Golden syrup add a subtle sweetness as well as encouraging a lovely brown crust. Currants and caraway seeds are often added to the bread dough and I have included them in the recipe, but wanted to use this bread as a basic sandwich bread without the extras. The bread would be delicious as a sandwich with corned beef for a St. Patrick’s Day lunch.
I baked the Irish Soda bread in a pottery bread baker, but you can also hand shape the dough into a round and use a parchment covered baking sheet. If you use a pottery bread baker like the one in the photo below, you will need to place the bread baker in the oven with the raised bread and allow it to heat up along with the oven. When removing the bread baker from the oven, use protective mitts and place the baker on a hot pad-not on a cold hard surface. You can find helpful information regarding using and caring for the pottery bread bowl here and here.
Raised Irish Soda Bread
Recipe Adapted From:
Rustic European Breads (From Your Bread Machine)
2 cups bread flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup powdered buttermilk
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup water
1 large egg
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Lyle’s Golden Syrup or honey
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1-3/4 teaspoons bread machine yeast
3/4 cup currants
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
Combine bread flour, cornmeal, wheat flour, powdered buttermilk, salt, baking soda, water, egg, brown sugar, golden syrup, butter and yeast in the bread machine pan and process on the dough cycle. Add the currants and caraway seed just before the final knead.
When cycle has completed, remove the dough from the pan, punch down, turn the bread machine pan over the dough and let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
Punch down the dough. Form the dough into an 8-inch circle and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until nearly doubled in bulk, about an hour. Alternatively, you can place the punched down dough in a greased pottery bread baker. Cover with the lid and let rise until doubled. When doubled, place baker in the oven and turn the temperature to 375°F. Bake about 30 minutes, then remove the lid with a hot pad and bake another 15-20 minutes., or until golden brown and done throughout. Remove from oven with protective mitts, place bread baker on a hot pad and let cool completely before turning out.
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Place the rack in the middle of the oven. Cut a large X into the top of the dough with a sharp knife or razor blade. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and continue to bake for a additional 15 minutes or until golden brown and done throughout. Serve warm with corned beef and cabbage or cool to room temperature and slice for sandwiches.
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