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Enjoy a St. Patrick’s Day Staple: Apple Raisin Soda Bread

Mar 14, 2017 04:23PM ● By Linda Ditch
“May you be in Heaven three days before the Devil knows you’re dead.” —traditional Irish toast.

When St. Patrick’s Day rolls around, I feel the need to make soda bread. Actually, I make it any time I need bread for a meal but don’t have time to do the whole waiting-for-yeast-dough-to-rise routine. Soda bread is great served alongside Irish stew, boiled dinner, fish chowder, or a simple cheese platter and softened butter.

For a holiday twist on tradition, you might want to try this recipe for Apple Raisin Soda Bread, which I adapted from one I found in The Apple Lover’s Cookbook by Amy Traverso. I serve it cut into wedges, and it tastes great with a slice of aged cheddar cheese. If you decide to try it, be sure to use a tart apple, such as a Granny Smith. This bread isn’t meant to be too sweet. 

Apple Raisin Soda Bread

Adapted from The Apple Lover’s Cookbook by Amy Traverso

Makes 1 loaf

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar, plus additional for the top
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
4 Tbsp melted butter
1 cup buttermilk (or whole milk with 1 Tbsp white vinegar added)
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
1/2 cup raisins
1 tsp caraway seeds

1. Preheat the oven to 375º and spray a 9-inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. If you haven’t already done so, melt the butter and set aside. Also, if you are substituting the milk-vinegar mixture for buttermilk, you will want to add the vinegar to the milk now and set it aside. Before using, remove 1 tablespoon of the milk mixture to create the correct measurement.

2. In a large bowl, blend together with a whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Pour in the melted butter and mix with a spoon until the butter is well distributed throughout the flour mixture.

3. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk. Fold the milk into the flour mixture until it is just combined. Fold in the apples, raisins and caraway seeds.

4. The mixture will be very sticky. Flour your hands and shape the dough into a ball, and then place it in the prepared cake pan. Flatten it slightly, but not so much that it fills the pan. The dough should not reach the sides of the pan. Sprinkle the top with 2 teaspoons of sugar.

5. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the top is browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the bread in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes, and then remove the bread onto the rack to cool for at least another 15 minutes.

If you simply don't have time to make this scrumptious bread head on over to Lou's Restaurant & Bakery where they are baking it up fresh.

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