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Matt Ryan’s Irish Soda Bread Family Recipe

If you guessed with a name like Matt Ryan that I’m Irish, you would be correct! Mama Ryan always takes care of the corned beef and cabbage, boiled potatoes and of course, the soda bread. My family’s soda bread recipe goes back many generations. The fact that Mom allowed me to share this with you is shocking. Full disclosure, it took some convincing. Homemade soda bread is so good, and here’s how we do it in the Ryan family.

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bhofack2, Thinkstock

INGREDIENTS

    • 4 cups of flour
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 2 tablespoons caraway seeds (I’m not a huge fan of the caraway seeds, but that’s how my family does it.)
    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
    • 2 cups raisins (the more raisins the better, right?)
    • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 large egg yolk
    • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

DIRECTIONS

    1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and caraway seeds.
    2. Using two knives in scissor fashion, cut in butter  Stir in raisins.
    3. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, and baking soda. Pour buttermilk mixture into the flour/butter mixture all at once, and stir with a fork until all the liquid is absorbed and the mixture begins to hold together. Using your hands, press the dough into a round, dome-shaped loaf about 8 inches in diameter. Lift the loaf from the bowl, and transfer it to the prepared baking sheet.
    4. In a small bowl, mix the egg yolk and cream together. With a pastry brush, brush the egg wash over the loaf. With a sharp knife, cut a cross, (about 1/2 inch deep) into the top of the loaf. Put in the oven. Halfway through baking, rotate until it’s golden brown and a wooden skewer comes out clean when inserted into the center. This will take about 70 minutes. Remove from oven, and put bread on a wire rack to cool.

If you don’t put plenty of salted butter on each and every slice, we can’t be friends anymore. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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