When I first made this bread many years ago, my husband said it looked and tasted like the bread he remembered having when he was growing up in Ireland. Over the years, I've made many loaves to serve to guests in our home and for church bazaars. I always receive compliments on it.
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- 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup warm buttermilk (120°-130°)
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3/4 cup raisins
- Additional all-purpose flour
- In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, salt and baking soda. Combine buttermilk and butter; gradually add to dry ingredients and beat well. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough,
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface; knead in raisins until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.
- Punch dough down. Turn on a lightly floured surface about 15 times, forming a smooth round ball. Place on a greased baking sheet. Press dough down to form dough down to form an 8-in. circle. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
- Sprinkle dough lightly with flour; cut a 4-in. cross about 1/4 in. deep on the top. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bread tests done. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. Yield: 1 loaf.
Originally published as Irish Bread in Country Extra March 1993, p47
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