This loaf has been the traditional bread of Ireland made with buttermilk (it’s very low in fat) especially on March 17th for decades. It’s best eaten warm with butter and honey, jam or with maple syrup. If desired, replace half the all-purpose or bread flour with whole wheat flour.
- 1 cup (250 ml) currants or raisins
- 3 cups (750 ml) unbleached all-purpose flour or bread flour
- 1/2 tsp (2 ml) salt
- 2 tsp (10 ml) baking soda
- 2 tbsp (25 ml) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup cold butter
- 1 cup (375 ml) buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Soak the currants or raisins in hot water for 3 minutes. Drain and reserve. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda and sugar. Use a pastry blender or grate the butter into the dry ingredients, tossing the flour often to separate the particles of fat. Use a fork to stir the buttermilk through the mixture just until dough is formed.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead to form a smooth round shape. Place in a floured 8-inch (20-cm) cake pan or cast iron frying pan. Cut a 1/2-inch (1 cm) deep cross in the top with a sharp knife. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool for 3 minutes in the pan before removing to cool on a rack.