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Irish Soda Bread with Whiskey-Soaked Raisins

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup Irish whiskey
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour you can use regular whole wheat flour, too!
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter very cold
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk shaken

Instructions

  • To a small bowl, mix together the raisins and Irish whiskey. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to macerate overnight or at least 6 hours. Drain the raisins, reserving the Irish whiskey/raisin liquid for making a syrup (if you like!) later on in the recipe. Set both aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment; set aside. (You could also bake this bread in a cast iron skillet, if you like. Be sure the skillet is seasoned and lightly greased so the bottom won't stick.)
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, brown sugar, salt and baking soda. Using a box grater, grate the butter into the dry ingredients and mix quickly, being sure the butter is broken up into pea-sized bits. Next, add the raisins and toss them gently in the flour mixture so they are evenly distributed.
  • Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk. Using a wooden spoon, mix it together until it forms a shaggy ball. Drop the soda bread dough onto a lightly floured counter and knead a few times, being sure to not over handle it, which will result in tough bread. Form the soda bread into a 1 1/2-inch thick disc. Using a knife, score the top, forming an X, and brush it with buttermilk.
  • Transfer the soda bread to the baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes, and until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Serve warm with plenty of butter, a sprinkling of sea salt and maybe the whiskey/raisin sauce that is below.

Bonus Whiskey/Raisin Sauce:

    The origin of this recipe is waste not! And work with what you got, so after I was left with this delicious looking raisins/Whiskey mixture, I figured I should use it someway, somehow.

    • To a small saucepan, add the whiskey/raisin juice and turn the heat to medium. Once the mixture reaches a simmer, add 2 teaspoons of butter. Turn the heat down to medium-low and mix until the butter is melted. The water in the butter will begin to cook out, resulting in foam. We don't want that business, so using a teaspoon, skim the foam off the top and discard. You should be left with a little less than 1/4 of a cup of goodness. Drizzle on top of bread and enjoy.