My Motto

May the muffin rise to greet you, may your friends be always at your door, and until we meet again, warm a single-malt in the palm of your hand and make something homemade for someone you love.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Spotted Dog AKA Fruited Irish Soda Bread

"No matter where the name comes from, this is an old-fashioned recipe that stands the test of time."
~Serious Eats
Being two generations removed from my native Irish relatives, I can hardly call myself an expert on Irish food, but from what I gather, much of what America refers to as Irish soda bread is actually called spotted dog in Ireland.  The only difference being the fruit.  You can read more about the origin of the name here (look at last paragraph).
This is my favorite version of the beloved bread.  Very simple to throw together, it can upgrade even the most humble of meals.  Whatever you name it, you'll claim it delicious!  It is best eaten warm out of the oven and slathered with fresh butter, but even the leftovers (if you have any!) are divine toasted and buttered or spread with marmalade.
My favorite version of the bread was adapted from a recipe originally published in Better Homes and Gardens as currant-orange Irish soda bread.  

Spotted Dog
Serves 6

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
the zested peel from two oranges (about 2 tablespoons)
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup raisins
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup buttermilk

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a large cookie sheet and set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and orange zest.  Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in raisins.  Make a well in the center of the mixture.

2.  In a small mixing bowl combine the egg and buttermilk.  Add all at once to the flour mixture.  Stir just until moistened.

3.  On a lightly floured surface, gently knead to form a dough.  A few turns, just until it comes together (only 4-5 times).  Shape into a 7-inch round loaf.  Transfer dough to prepared cookie sheet.  With a sharp knife, make two slashes across the center of the loaf to form and X, going all the way to the edge.  Bake 30 minutes or until golden.  Serve warm.


TinaRBK said...

I have always wanted to make soda bread and this sure looks a lot easier than most of the recipes I have seen! I like your version here with the fruits and zest. That slice is really making me want to try this-yum!

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Tina: Thanks so much. This one is super-easy and the hubs and love it! Thanks for stopping by - have a great weeekend! xo

Sue said...

I'm testing how easy it is to leave a comment on your blog. And it seems okay...Great blog, by the way.

That name, Spotted Dog, is SO funny, because it reminds me of that strange British steamed suet pudding with currants, whose name starts with Spotted and ends with something that sounds really dirty (in this country, anyway).

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Sue: AAHH, you mean the notorious Spotted Dick (yes, I said it out loud). And I was thinking, maybe the problem was that I got to your blog from the Foodbuzz site. Tomorrow, I'll go to your site directly and try again.

Mary Bergfeld said...

Margaret,your version looks and sounds delicious. I've bookmarked it to try for St. Patrick's Day. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Mary: Great! Hope you enjoy it as much as we do! Enjoy the rest of your weekend. xo

Kristen said...

You know, it might just be this bread that I miss the most now that I am gluten free. My maiden name is an Irish one....only it was my dad's grandfather's grandfather who came over. We are a bit removed, but we still love the food. I didn't know about the spotted dog name, but whatever it's called, it sure is good.

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Kristen: I don't know if I could handle being gluten free, but you do so well and all of your recipes look delicious!

Suget said...

I made this once, and I want to try it again. My supervisor and co workers enjpyed it. Thanks for sharing (:

Di said...

I usually make plain soda bread, but I think I need to try this one. It looks really tasty!

Liz said...

I made this last night. I substituted currants for the raisins and added an extra bit of sugar. It came together easily and baked up just lovely. Next time I will only add the zest of one orange but that's just a personal preference. Thanks so much for sharing!

TheSiliconMage said...

I usually do the cooking in the house but I'm currently recovering from a hip replacement, at the age of 42. I stumbled across your blog and showed my wife the Irish Bread recipe , and B'Gosh and Begorrah, she actually made it perfectly. No offence to my wife but the poor thing didnt know she had to flip a grilled cheese sandwich to cook both sides. I love her anyways. I'm hoping if I win the cook book she might try other recipes. So happy I found the site. Thanks ~ Robb