Irish Soda Bread with Orange Butter
Being Irish it was only natural for me to make Irish Soda Bread around Saint Patrick's Day (note the colors of the Irish flag in the title of this post). Irish Soda Bread is called Irish Soda Bread because it uses baking soda to leaven the bread as opposed to the more commonly used yeast. It is incredibly easy to make and almost impossible to mess up. One recipe I found called for half whole wheat flour and half white flour which I thought was a nice twist on the original but it didn't call for any raisins! Raisins, for me, are an imperative element to Irish Soda Bread and I made sure to add them to the mix!
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup raisins
|Fresh out of the oven.|
Place the baking sheet in the oven on a middle rack and bake for twenty minutes. After twenty minutes reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees fahrenheit and bake until the loaf is nicely browned on top, probably thirty to thirty five minutes. Take the bread out of the oven and place on a cooling rack. Allow to cool for about thirty minutes before slicing.
1 stick butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
Using a cheese grater or microplane, rub the skin of an orange just so that the orange part of the peel is grated. You don't want to use the white part of the peel because it has a bitter taste. Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Serve chilled or at room temperature as a spread for the Irish Soda Bread. Enjoy!