Irish Soda Bread
This Irish Soda Bread, although not exactly authentic because of the use of olive oil instead of butter, is full of warmth and delicious flavor and is a simple quick bread that is a must for your upcoming St. Patrick's Day, but also perfect for any time of the year! Serve warm with our local honey and/or butter.
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons Blood Orange Olive Oil
1 1/2 cups buttermilk*
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup dark or golden raisins
1 tablespoon oats (optional)
*If you don't have buttermilk, you can simply make your own. Mix together 4 tablespoons of Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic with 2 cups of full or low fat milk. Let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature until the milk begins to curdle and becomes acidic. Use in place of buttermilk in the recipe as it calls for. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Mix together the flour, salt, sugar and baking soda in a large bowl. Add the Blood Orange Olive Oil and mix into the flour mixture with your fingertips until it resembles bread crumbs. Stir in the raisins.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and buttermilk together (see note on how to make Buttermilk above. )
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the liquid, 3/4 at once, into the flour mixture.
Using an open hand bring the flour and liquid together to a loose dough. The dough should be quite soft, but not too sticky.
Turn onto a floured work surface and gently bring the dough together into a round, about 1 1/2 inches thick (8 inches by 8 inches).
Place on a baking sheet dusted well with flour.
Score the bread down the middle and turn it and once again score down the middle making a cross. Score a small slit in each of the four corners of the bread.
Glaze the bread with the tiny leftover bit of buttermilk leftover from your bowl and dust the top with rolled oats.
Bake for 15 minutes at 425°F, then turn down the oven to 400°F and bake for 20 minutes more. When done, the loaf will sound slightly hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove from the baking sheet and place on a wire rack to cool.