Erin Go Bragh!
Soda Bread is a staple of Irish cuisine and comes in innumerable variations. Traditionally made with caraway seeds and raisins, it is as delicious at breakfast as it is at dinner. Typically, Irish Soda Bread contains both eggs, butter and buttermilk. I’ve adapted the following recipe from Epicurious. This one omits the caraway seeds and includes chocolate chips – making it a good after dinner on the 17th and at breakfast on the 18th.
**Note: Irish Soda Bread is meant to be prepared with a minimum of handling and kneading. Handle the dough gently. The more you manipulate the dough, the tougher it will become.
- 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted vegan or dairy-free butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 6 ounces nut-free semisweet chocolate chips
- 6 ounces candied orange peel, diced (optional)
- 1 1/4 cups dairy-free buttermilk (2 Tbsp. white vinegar combined with 2 cups soy milk; let sit 5-10 minutes before use)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of Ener-G Egg Replacer mixed well with 2 Tbsp. water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and grease parchment with cooking spray or dairy-free butter. Place first 5 ingredients in large bowl and whisk to blend. Add dairy-free butter to bowl, using fingertips to rub in until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in chocolate and orange peel. Whisk dairy-free buttermilk and Ener-G Egg Replacer mixture to blend in small bowl; add to dry ingredients. Stir until just blended.
Flour work surface. Turn dough onto surface and knead gently just until dough comes together (about 5 turns). Form dough into flattened ball about 2 to 2 1/2 inches high. Place on prepared baking sheet. Using knife, cut 1 inch deep, 3 inch long slits on top of bread to form sunburst pattern. [This is not decorative: the sunburst allows the heat to penetrate into the thickest part of the bread.]
Bake bread for 1 hour and 10 minutes, turning baking sheet halfway through baking. Bake until browned and firm when pressed; inserting tester into center of bread until it comes out clean. Transfer bread to cooling rack. Cool completely (suggested cooling time is 3 hours, but I can never wait that long – can be made 1 day ahead.) Wrap in foil and store at room temperature.