Irish Soda Bread

Happy Pi Day! As much as I wanted to feature a pie today, I haven't had the time to whip one up... but I'll definitely make up for it this weekend, I'm sure lol! The Baron is probably particularly excited today because it's Pi Day. He's a huge math fan and his favorite dessert is pie. Looks like I have quite a bit of making up to do since I have no pie at the house lol. But we'll continue on with featuring Irish fare this week. Instead of pie, here's a classic Irish Soda Bread. Using pantry staples, this no-knead, no rise bread will bake up deliciously and taste fantastic slathered with Irish butter...

For my dinner party, my friends Kelly and Robert prepared this bread. It wasn't a gluten free version but it certainly was delicious. {I've been using these gluten intolerant supplements called Glutenease that has helped me enjoy gluten laden foods without any side effects!}This can easily be adapted to a gluten free version by using a gluten free flour blend with some xanthan gum for texture. Currants are optional any Kelly's and Robert's version didn't have them... which I thought was perfect!

Irish Soda Bread
recipe adapted from Ina Garten

4 cups all-purpose flour or 560 grams gluten free flour blend* + 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 3/4 cups cold buttermilk, shaken
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 cup dried currants (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is mixed into the flour.

With a fork, lightly beat the buttermilk, egg, and orange zest together in a measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. Combine the currants with 1 tablespoon of flour and mix into the dough. It will be very wet.

Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and knead it a few times into a round loaf. Place the loaf on the prepared sheet pan and lightly cut an X into the top of the bread with a serrated knife. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. When you tap the loaf, it will have a hollow sound.

Cool on a baking rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

*Gluten free flour blend:
This is the best combination for my personal uses and has never failed me. I purchased a majority of the ingredients at an Asian market (at less than $.99/lb) and the other ingredients marked were Bob Red Mill brand. Cornstarch was Argo brand.

300 grams superfine brown rice flour (Bob's Red Mill)
250 grams sweet rice flour (Asian market)
150 grams tapioca flour (Asian market)
100 grams sorghum flour (Bob's Red Mill)
100 grams potato starch (Asian market)
100 grams cornstarch (Argo brand)

Whisk together the above flours and store in an air tight container. To use, measure out 140 grams for every cup called for in your favorite baking recipe (NOT yeast bread recipes.) Add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum for every cup used in the recipe as well to help with texture and binding. Voila! You can bake gluten free with confidence!

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