Thursday

Irish Soda Bread

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image from here
 With St Patricks Day quickly approaching, I thought perhaps a little Irish Soda Bread was in order.... 
  • 4 cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup dark raisins
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 1 cup cold milk
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prepare a baking sheet by spraying it lightly with cooking spray or lining it with parchment paper.

Sift the flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt together into a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the shortening into the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse meal.

Add the raisins, caraway seeds, and milk. Mix the dough until just combined; avoid overmixing as this will cause the dough to toughen.

Turn the dough into a lightly floured surface. Press the dough into a ball. Form the dough into two equal loaves, or cut into sixteen equal pieces to make rolls. Dust with flour and lightly score an "X" across the top of each roll or loaf with a sharp knife.

Bake the soda bread until it is lightly browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, about eight to ten minutes for rolls and twenty-five minutes for loaves. Wrap the bread in a tea towel directly out of the oven. Cool the soda bread in the tea towel on a wire rack before serving. It can be held at room temperature for up to two days or frozen for up to four weeks.

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