This hearty irish soda bread is unbelievably soft and tender inside and chock-full of raisins and cinnamon. Enjoy slices warm from the oven, slathered with a tangy orange cream cheese.
It is now March 2nd. Do you know what that means? In foodie terms, this means that it is now time for that yearly face-shoveling-of-all-the-irish-soda-bread.
I mean, it’s so traditional. And I really cannot control that insanity either, so there you go.
Not just any bread though. I know that there are about a million ways you can make Irish soda bread now’adays, but that classic, no-frills stuff? It never gets old.
Lite-rally. This bread will never get old because it will never last long enough to see another day.
Not with me around. Just no. Sorry.
This bread right here is just the classic, golden stuff, you guys. I adapted the recipe straight from America’s Test Kitchen which has become pretty much just my cooking bible. I don’t even think you WANT to know the number of cookbooks and magazines from ATK and Cooks Illustrated I’ve somehow managed to collect in the past few years…
I’d hazard to guess I’m getting preeeeetty close to the #500 mark. YIKES. Where the heck am I gonna put all those books when I actually move into a place of my own? Right now they’re currently taking up space oh, kinda everywhere.
FYI: Mothers do not tend to like the habits of a cookbook hoarder. Mine doesn’t anyway.
My mom even says that I’m a clutter-bug. Uh, what does that even mean?!
The life of a cookbook hoarder, I tell ‘ya. It’s a rough one. Nobody understands.
Now that I’m done exposing myself for the weirdo I truly am, let’s talk Irish.
Not actual Irish, because I don’t speak Irish at all. I just speak the love language of Irish soda bread and that’s pretty much it.
It is a love language though, guys and I’ve heard that very few can speak it. I happen to be fluent in both the speaking part and the eating part.
Especially the eating part….
This bread really just is pure Irish perfection, guys. It’s everything a good Irish soda bread should be. Golden and crusty on the outside. Super-soft and flaky on the inside and loaded with plump raisins.
Which, FYI are my favorite part. You know it.
Okay, maybe my second favorite part. I mean, raisins just can’t compete with the pure delight of an orange cream cheese lovingly spread into every nook and cranny of a warm-from-the-oven slice of this bread.
They can sure as heck try though. I will be more than happy to test this theory by eating ALL of this bread with extra-slathers of the cream cheese.
But first I’ve gotta put my extra-large pot of coffee on. Because if you’re gonna go to the trouble of baking up homemade Irish soda bread, you MUST have freshly-brewed coffee very close by.
In my coffee-addicted opinion, you should ALWAYS have brewed coffee no further than 5 inches away, but you get it.
You’re speaking my love language now. Kiss me, I’m Irish. ♥
I actually don’t even know what that means, but it hey, it sounded cool.
Let’s just eat now and speak later.
Rustic Irish Soda Bread with Orange Cream Cheese
- 2-1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1-1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup butter softened
- 1-1/4 cups buttermilk
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds optional
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ORANGE CREAM CHEESE:
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 1/4 cup orange marmalade
- 1 tablespoon sugar
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, and cinnamon. Using hands, gently work in softened butter until crumbly. Stir in buttermilk, beaten egg, raisins, and caraway seeds if using until mixture forms a shaggy dough.
Turn dough onto a floured surface and very gently knead a few times to form dough into a 7-in round. (dough should be about 1-in thick) Using a sharp knife, cut a deep X in top of round.
Bake Irish soda bread at 400F 40-45 minutes or until bread is a deep golden brown. Remove bread from oven and gently brush with butter. Cool 15 minutes on a wire cooling rack before slicing.
Make the cream cheese: In a small bowl, beat together all ingredients until creamy. Serve cream cheese with warm slices of Irish soda bread.
Store bread in an airtight container at room temperature up to 6 days. Cream cheese may be stored in refrigerator up to 1 week.
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