I do not consider myself a chef, nor do I consider myself a cook. Rather, I think of myself as someone with a fantastic husband, who will eat anything I put on the table and praises me as a God when I do so – seriously lucky I know!
However, bread is something I have yet to have ANY success at making. I tried making this coconut chocolate bread a few months ago and I ended up with an incredibly hard disk of pure gross. I think it weighed close to five pounds but felt more like ten. I am not sure what happened, but it definitely scared me from attempting any sort of bread again.
I am happy to report my first bread success with this Irish Soda Bread (I even watched Ina make it in the video provided to pick up on any tips)! Because I could not find currants at the store, I used cranberries instead. I love almond flavoring, so I decided to add 1/4 teaspoon each of almond and vanilla extract for a little extra flavoring.
Adapted from Ina Garten RecipeIngredients
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for currants
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 3/4 cups cold buttermilk, shaken
- 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is mixed into the flour.
With a fork, lightly beat the buttermilk, egg, orange zest, vanilla, and almond together in a measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. Combine the cranberries with 1 tablespoon of flour and mix into the dough. It will be very wet. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and knead it a few times into a round loaf.
Place the loaf on the prepared sheet pan and lightly cut an X into the top of the bread with a serrated knife. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. When you tap the loaf, it will have a hollow sound.
Cool on a baking rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.