Irish Breads

Irish Soda Muffins

2 1/4 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar (1 tablespoon
reserved for sprinkling on top)
3/4 cup currants (first choice) or raisins
1/2 to 2 teaspoons caraway seeds (the
effect will range from faint to assertive)
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk (or plain yogurt, or sour cream)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick, 1/4 cup) butter or margarine, melted, (OR cup vegetable oil)

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, currants or raisins, and caraway seeds. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk (or equivalent) and melted butter (or equivalent). Quickly and gently combine the dry and wet ingredients; honestly, this won't take more than a few stirs with a bowl scraper or large spoon. As soon as everything is evenly moistened, quit; further stirring will cause the muffins to be tough.

Spoon the batter into 12 lightly greased cups in a standard muffin pan, filling the cups about 2/3 full. Bake the muffins in a preheated 400F oven for 15 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove them from the oven, wait 5 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan and cool them on a wire rack. Serve them plain, or with butter and/or jam.
Yield: 12 muffins.

Irish Scones Recipe

4 eggs
6 C. of flour
3 heaped t. baking powder
1-1/2 t. salt
1 C. sugar
1 C. raisins
2 C. milk
1 C. butter
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Sift flour, baking powder, salt, sugar in a large bowl. Add butter and mix like fine bread crumbs. Add raisins. In a separate bowl mix eggs and milk together. Add to dry mixture. Make 24 balls and place on floured baking pan. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Makes: 24 scones.


Saint Patrick's Day Irish Soda Bread:

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1-1/2 cups raisins
1 egg
1/2 cup honey (use heater honey if you can find it)
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350F.
Butter a heavy skillet or casserole, 10" to 11" and 2" or 3" deep.
Sift the flour, baking powder, soda and salt together.
Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles peas.
Add the raisins and toss to distribute evenly.
Beat the egg in another bowl until very frothy.
Beat in the honey.
Beat in the buttermilk.
Gradually stir into the flour.
Pour into prepared pan.
Bake about an hour or until the middle is set.
Cut into wedges and serve warm from the pan.


Irish Barmbrack

4-5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
1/2 cup butter
2-1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
1/2 ounces golden raisins
1/2 pound currants
1/2 cup chopped candied orange and/or lemon peel
1/2 cup lukewarm milk

Combine yeast, a pinch of the sugar, and milk; let sit 5 minutes.
Sift the flour, nutmeg, salt, and remaining sugar together.
Rub butter into flour mixture.
Beat the eggs with the yeast/milk mixture.
Add liquid to the dry ingredients and beat well until batter is stiff.
Fold in currants, raisins, and peel.
Pour into a greased 8" cake pans so that the mixture fills half way up the pan.
Cover with a cloth and leave to rise in a warm place until mixture has doubled in size (about 1 hour). Brush top of the dough with a little beaten egg to give a glaze and bake at 400F for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

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