Smilin’ Irish Eyes and Sweet Irish Soda Bread

I just took my Irish soda bread out of the oven. It’s my own version of my mom’s version, which is a version of my grandmother’s version (my sweet late grandma, Rosemary McDonald).

Irish Soda Bread

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 stick unsalted butter

Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder.

Stir in caraway seeds.

Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.

Add sugar.

Combine buttermilk, egg, vanilla, and baking soda. Stir into flour mixture until just moist. Turn dough onto a floured board and knead a few times until smooth. Shape into a large ball and place in the center of a well-greased 9 inch cake pan or cast iron pan. Press down slightly. With a sharp, floured knife, make a 4-inch cross 1/4 inch deep in the center of the dough. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees or until loaf is nicely browned. Cool on rack.

(If you don’t have buttermilk, you can sour regular milk by adding 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to the milk and wait 10 or 15 minutes until the milk turns.)

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