Sunday, March 17, 2013

Irish Whisky Soda Bread

It's St Patrick's Day! I have always loved Ireland, and fell even more in love with the country when I vacationed there many years ago. The people are the warmest and most welcoming of anywhere I have ever visited, the scenery and history is rich and beautiful, and the food is amazing. (The beer is pretty good too) I have been making this recipe for whisky honey soda bread for many years. It doesn't have the traditional whisky soaked raisins or caraway, it is a simple soda bread that has a hint of sweetness, but is excellent served with butter and stew or with jam.

Makes 2 x 8" diameter loaves.

4 Cups flour, all purpose
1 Teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1/4 Cup Butter, chilled
1 Cup raisins or currants (optional)
1/2 Cup honey, liquid
1/4 Cup Irish Whisky
1 Cup buttermilk (you can use regular milk as well)

2 Teaspoons Irish Whisky
2 Teaspoons Milk 
1/4 cup icing sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In large bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda. 
3. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in raisins or currants (if using). 
4. In separate bowl, combine buttermilk, honey and whisky. 
5. Add all at once to dry ingredients; stir just until just incorporated. 
6. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead lightly 1 minute (too much handling will toughen loaves, while too little will inhibit rising.) 
7. Divide dough in half and shape each half into an 8" round loaf. Place in two greased 8" cake pans. 
8. Cut a cross 1/2" deep in each loaf.
9. Brush each loaf with milk.
10. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped on bottoms. Remove from pans; let cool on wire racks.

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