Irish Soda Bread
3 cups all purpose
¼ cup evaporated cane juice (sugar)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup mixture of raisins, cranberries and currants, chopped
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, crushed or powdered
4 tablespoons super cold butter, cut into little pieces
1 ¼ cups buttermilk
1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 400.
Grease a large cast iron skillet or a 10 inch cake pan.
Transfer the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in a mixing bowl, whisk together. Add the butter and mix briefly with fingers, incorporating the butter. Add the raisins mixture, zest and fennel seeds and mix well. Mix the buttermilk and egg together in a small bowl and whisk well and refrigerate until needed (the key is to have this liquid as cold as possible) Add the liquid slowly to the dry mixture while mixing it with a fork. Once all the liquid is incorporated, gently mix everything with your fingers and form an 8 inch round loaf and transfer to the cast iron skillet or cake pan. Mark the top with an ‘X’ with a knife about ½ inch deep.
Bake for 20 minutes in the oven and check if the top is getting too brown. If it is, then top with aluminum foil and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes. Take out of oven and keep the foil on till it cools off.
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