Irish Soda Bread (with a twist)

This is what I made for dinner, and I thought that it probably should be served with Irish Soda Bread.

I know there are lots of people out there that aren’t huge fans of either currents or raisins.   So, this is my untraditional Irish Soda Bread.  Seeing I have an Irish name (McConnel) and I’m a redhead, then I feel I might be allowed to make these adaptations to a Irish tradition.

My Irish Soda Bread is sweetened with dried cranberries and orange zest.  And for health benefits and texture, I used some whole wheat flour and ground flax seed.

Irish Soda Bread
3 cups unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp. ground flax seed
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soda
4 tbsp. sugar
the zest of one orange (finely grated)

1/2 cup cold butter cut into 1/2″ cubes or smaller
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups buttermilk

3/4 cup dried cranberries

Combine first 7 ingredients in a bowl.  Using a pastry blender, cut in the cold butter to the flour mixture.

In another bowl, beat the eggs with a fork and add the buttermilk to the eggs.  Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour and butter.  And stir until just combined.  Add the dried cranberries and kneed into a ball on a well floured surface.  Do not over kneed, just till in comes together well.

Place ball on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Cut an X on the top of the bread with a knife.  Bake for about 45 mins at 375 F.  Bread is done when a toothpick inserted into the it comes out clean.

Serve warm with Orange Honey Butter (see below).

Orange Honey Butter
1/2 cup of butter softened
zest of one orange
1/4 honey

Mix well with an electric mixer.  Roll into a log in plastic wrap.  Then chill it completely.  Slice into coins for serving.

This recipe was adapted from Ina Garten’s Irish Soda Bread recipe.

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