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Irish Soda Bread

A bread with humble, working class roots, Irish Soda Bread is a great recipe for novice bakers. Though you end up with a beautiful sweet and savory loaf, the recipe doesn’t require any leavening (i.e. yeast) or kneading. Just simply combine ingredients, stir, shape and bake! A warm slice of soda bread smeared with green canna-butter is the perfect addition to any St. Paddy’s feast. Or try a morning slice of soda bread toast with green butter for good luck!

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Ingredients

Bread Ingredients: 2 ½ cups white whole wheat flour* 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour* 3 tablespoons sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda ¾ teaspoon salt 1 cup currants or raisins ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) cold butter, cut into pieces 1 ¼ cups buttermilk 1 egg
Humboldt Grown Canna-Butter Ingredients: 1 stick (1/4 lb.) Humboldt Creamery butter ½ cup water ¼ ounce high quality trim, decarboxylated at 250° F for 30 minutes

Instructions

1
Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease the bottom of round cake or tart pan (pictured). Whisk together dry ingredients and currants or raisins in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender, two forks or your fingers (always my preference), work the butter into the flour mixture until it has even consistency and no chunks of butter larger than a pea remain. In a separate bowl, beat egg with a whisk and combine with buttermilk. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix to combine. If dough is too stiff and won’t hold together, add another tablespoon of buttermilk. If dough is too wet, add a few tablespoons of flour. Place dough on floured countertop and knead a few times before shaping into a ball and placing in your prepared pan. Use a serrated knife to score a 1/2inch-deep cross across the loaf. Bake for 45-to-50 minutes (I baked mine 48 minutes), until it’s golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow bread to cool on countertop until only slightly warm to the touch. Cut a large slice and smear with canna-butter -- you’ll taste the luck of the Irish in every bite!
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2
FOR THE BUTTER: Combine butter and water in large stockpot over medium heat until butter is melted and simmering. Add trim and stir. Reduce heat to lowest setting and cook for at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Strain through fine mesh strainer; if you have any on hand, line strainer with cheesecloth for a more refined final product. Store canna-butter in the fridge.
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