Saturday, March 13, 2021

Irish Soda Bread Muffins

An Irish-American take on the traditional Irish Soda Bread turned into a wonderful breakfast muffin! Just in time for St. Patrick's Day...Slainte!

Irish Soda Bread Muffins

It's time to celebrate all things Irish!  These muffins are a far reach from the traditional Irish Soda Bread and have been totally Americanized.  But these muffins are a wonderful nod to that traditional bread.  Filled with currents and a bit of caraway seeds these muffins mix up quickly and bake up like a dream.  

I found this recipe on the King Arthur Baking site and it is slightly different than my base muffin recipe.  A little less sugar, less oil, and the addition of buttermilk, plus the soda powder.  So I kept the recipe true to their site and I'm glad I did.  They turned out heavenly!  Moist and tender on the inside and they came out with golden craggy tops.  Studded with dried fruit these are perfect anytime of day.  Note: This recipe makes 12 muffins.

What Ingredients do I need?

  • all purpose flour
  • white whole wheat flour
  • sugar
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • egg
  • buttermilk, sour cream, or yogurt
  • butter or vegetable oil
  • caraway seeds
  • dried currents or raisins
  • sparkling sugar (optional)

Substitutions and Variations

  • Use all All Purpose Flour instead of adding in the Whole Wheat Flour
  • Use milk with lemon juice or vinegar instead of buttermilk
  • Use sour cream or yogurt instead of buttermilk
  • leave out the caraway seeds
  • use raisins instead of dried currents
  • use different dried fruits for a different flavor type:  cherries, cranberries, apricots
  • Leave off the sparkling sugar

Kitchen Tips and Notes

  • 1st rule of them when making muffins is not to "overmix" the batter.  You want it batter to just come together.  Little spots of flour is okay.
  • To get high muffin tops turn your oven up to 400 degrees.
  • Make sure you are using fresh baking powder.  To test put 1/2 teaspoon into 1/4 cup of boiling water.  If it bubbles, you are good.
  • Halve the recipe for 6 muffins, but you will need to beat the egg and then use 1/2 of an egg.
  • Muffins can be frozen individually and kept for 3 months.
  • Fill the muffin tin almost to the top for nice big muffins.

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Irish Soda Bread Muffins

yield:  12 muffins

1 1/2 cups (177g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
3/4 cup (85g) King Arthur 100% White Whole Wheat Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup (74g) granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups (170g) currants (first choice) or raisins
1/2 to 2 teaspoons caraway seeds, to taste
1 large egg
1 cup (227g) buttermilk, yogurt, or sour cream
6 tablespoons (85g) butter, melted; or 1/3 cup (67g) vegetable oil
sparkling white sugar, for topping

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a standard muffin pan; or line with papers, and grease the papers.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, currants or raisins, and caraway seeds.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk (or equivalent) and melted butter (or equivalent).

Quickly and gently combine the dry and wet ingredients; honestly, this won't take more than a few stirs with a bowl scraper or large spoon. As soon as everything is evenly moistened, quit; further stirring will cause the muffins to be tough.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, filling the cups about 3/4 full; the stiff batter will look mounded in the cups. Top with sparkling white sugar.

Bake the muffins for 20 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove them from the oven. Tip the muffins in the pan, so their bottoms don't get soggy. Wait 5 minutes, then transfer the muffins to a rack to cool. Serve them plain, or with butter and/or jam.

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