Irish Soda Bread

So, this half marathon that I am running is coming up quite quickly.  Actually, it is this Saturday (that's in 3 days!!!).  Then the following saturday I am running yet another one.  Yes, I know, I'm stupid. I keep telling myself that it will be worth it. and fun.  I love to run while I am running, but thinking about it makes me crazy.  And the trip to Disney World will make it all worth it as well.  Now onto the food.

Jeremy and I went to Mulligan's a while back, and both have been raving about Irish soda bread ever since.  So I decided to try and make some at home.  Traditional soda bread usually contains raisins, but I left those out.  This is the easiest bread ever to make.  It requires very little kneading and no yeast to let rise.  This means I do not have to go put the bread in my closet for 2 hours : ).  


It's delicious.  Jeremy especially likes to eat it dipped in this BBQ sauce.  Not at all the irish way to eat it, but it tastes good.  And that's what matters right?  Maybe next time I make it, I'll make some irish stout stew to go with it.  mmm.

Now to go to work.  and try to not think about running 13.1 miles in 3 days.

but first, the recipe.

Irish Soda Bread
Adapted from SimplyRecipes

4-4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 T sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
4 T butter
1 cup raisins (I skipped this ingredient)
1 large egg
1 3/4 cup buttermilk

1.  Preheat oven to 425°. Whisk together 4 cups of flour, the sugar, salt, and baking soda into a large mixing bowl.
2 Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, work butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal, then stir in raisins.
3 Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add beaten egg and buttermilk to well and mix in with a wooden spoon until dough is too stiff to stir. Dust hands with a little flour, then gently knead dough in the bowl just long enough to form a rough ball. If the dough is too sticky to work with, add in a little more flour. Do not over-knead! Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and shape into a round loaf. The dough will be a little sticky, and quite shaggy. You want to work it just enough so that it comes together. If you over-knead, the bread will end up tough.
4 Transfer dough to a large, lightly greased cast-iron skillet or a baking sheet (it will flatten out a bit in the pan or on the baking sheet). Using a serrated knife, score top of dough about an inch and a half deep in an "X" shape. The purpose of the scoring is to help heat get into the center of the dough while it cooks. Transfer to oven and bake until bread is golden and bottom sounds hollow when tapped, about 35-45 minutes. (If you use a cast iron pan, it may take a little longer as it takes longer for the pan to heat up than a baking sheet.) Check for doneness also by inserting a long, thin skewer into the center. If it comes out clean, it's done.

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