Even though it is called "Irish Soda Bread," this isn't a traditional bread recipe that involves yeast, multiple risings and lots of kneading. It's pretty easy to do.
Sometimes it can be a tad bland, so you need to add some punch. I saw Ina Garten from the Barefoot Contessa add orange zest to her recipe on her show. That really makes a difference. She doesn't add caraway seeds to hers, but I do as I like their unique flavor.
You can use currants or raisins in this recipe.
I like to bake my Irish Soda Bread in a 9" x 9" brownie pan. It can be baked in a round pie plate as well so it can be cut in its traditional pie wedges. Either way, this is delicious warm out of the oven or toasted the next day. A little butter tastes pretty good on it, too.
Easy Irish Soda Bread
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 T unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 T sugar
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup currants or raisins mixed with a little flour
1 tsp. finely grated orange rind
1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9x9 square pan or pie plate well and place a piece of parchment paper fitted to its base. Grease over the parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, add about half the measured flour. Add the butter pieces and with a pastry knife, mix in the butter until it is incorporated and in tiny pieces. Add the remaining flour, baking soda, salt and sugar and mix well.
Add the buttermilk and egg and with a big spoon, combine well. The dough will be very sticky.
Stir in the currants or raisins, orange rind and caraway seeds.
Pour the dough into the prepared pan.
Bake for about 45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes on a baking rack. Serve warm or toasted with butter or jam if desired.