The Best Irish Soda Bread

We prefer the slightly sweet American version of this classic Irish quick bread, so we added dried currants and a small amount of sugar. Buttermilk and baking soda give the loaf plenty of lift and butter gives it a moist crumb.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 15 min
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 1 loaf
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Ingredients

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface (see Cook's Note)

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter cut into cubes

2/3 cup dried currants

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

1 1/4 cups buttermilk

1 large egg

Irish butter, for serving

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line an 8-inch round cake pan with a large sheet of parchment paper, pressing it into the edges of the pan and leaving an overhang on 2 sides (the extra parchment will help you unmold the loaf later).
  2. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. Add the butter cubes to the flour mixture and toss to combine. Use a pastry blender or your fingertips to cut or rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the currants and caraway seeds.
  3. Whisk the buttermilk and egg together in a separate bowl or liquid measuring cup. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the buttermilk mixture into the center. Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to stir the mixture until it starts to come together in a shaggy mass.
  4. Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Turn the dough mixture out onto the floured surface and knead a few times to bring it together. Shape it into a domed disk. Place the dough into the prepared cake pan and cut a cross about 1/2-inch deep into the surface of the dough with a sharp knife. Bake until the top is puffed and lightly browned and a cake tester comes out clean, 60 to 75 minutes. Remove from the oven and use the parchment overhang to lift the bread from the pan. Place on a wire rack to cool completely. Serve with good Irish butter.

Cook’s Note

When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)