I've been making bread since I was a young girl, and this is one of my favorites. This round loaf is moist with a wonderful texture and flavor. Golden raisins peek out of every slice. -Ann Lauver, Lititz, Pennsylvania
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1 cup warm buttermilk (110° to 115°)
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3-1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup golden raisins
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add 1 tablespoon sugar; let stand for 5 minutes. Beat in the buttermilk, butter, salt, baking soda, 1 cup flour and remaining sugar until smooth. Stir in raisins and enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead 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 40 minutes.
- Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead for 2 minutes. Shape into a round loaf. Place on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. With a sharp knife, cut a 1/4-in.-deep cross on top of loaf.
- Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to cool on a wire rack. Yield: 1 loaf (12 slices).
Originally published as Irish Soda Bread in Taste of Home February/March 2002, p33
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