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A Recipe From Barbara

Irish Soda Bread

Classic Soda bread calls for nothing more than baking soda to leaven the bread. We like the results better when we make this loaf in the bread machine and use a teaspoon or so of yeast to boost the rise. The soda taste is balanced by the sweetness of currants and the bite of caraway seeds.

2 cups bread flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup powdered buttermilk
2 tablespoon cornmeal
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup water
1 large egg
2 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon honey
1-3/4 teaspoon bread machine yeast
3/4 cup currants
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
2 tablespoon butter

Combine flours, buttermilk, cornmeal, salt, baking soda, water, egg, molasses, honey, butter, and yeast in the bread machine pan and process on the dough setting. Add the currants and caraway seeds just before the final kneading. Remove from the pan, punch down, turn the bread machine pan over the dough, and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Punch the dough down, and form it into an 8-inch circle, slightly flattened. Place the disk on the parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise until nearly doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the rack in the middle of the oven. Cut a large X into the top of the dough with a razor blade. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue to bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until brown and done through.

Makes one round, free form loaf Serve warm. Store in plastic wrap.

Source: Rustic European Breads

Reprinted by permission of Doubleday. All rights reserved.