Irish Soda Bread - Currants and Caraway Seeds
For me, this loaf of bread, baked by my mother every year (sent in the mail when I was in college) is the best thing about St. Patrick's Day. I would make it myself, but my mom always beats me to it.
I have no idea where this recipe came from. My mom has made it for as long as I remember, her mom made it before that. Maybe it goes all the way back to County Cork or Galway, but probably not - my family has been here for a long time. No matter, it is my favorite breakfast ever. I love how the currants are not so sweet as raisins, I love caraway seeds, I love how you just mix apple cider vinegar with milk so you don't have to buy buttermilk (I use this trick to avoid buying a carton of buttermilk every time I need it). I hope you'll try it this year!
Irish Soda Bread
2 1/2 C flour
1t baking soda
1t baking powder
1/2C butter, sliced
3/4 C currants (they come in the orange sunmaid box, right by the raisins)
3t Caraway Seeds
3T cider vinegar
Preheat Oven to 400 degrees
Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl, cut in butter with dough blender until the lumps of butter are incorporated. Stir in currants and seeds. Measure milk (I use a 1 Cup Pyrex measuring cup), add vinegar and stir a little. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in milk/vinegar all at once, stir with a fork, gradually adding dry ingredients, until smooth. Turn out on the counter and knead gently about 8-10 times. Shape into a ball. Put in a greased pie pan. Cut an x across the middle of the ball.
Bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and cook for 30 minutes more. Cool about 1 hour before serving.