This classic Irish quick bread is similar to a large scone or biscuit. While it's popular fare for St. Patrick's Day, it also makes a delicious brunch side or afternoon snack.
Click to the following slides for step-by-step instructions on making traditional Irish Soda Bread.
In a large mixing bowl stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and orange peel. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Stir in the currants and make a well in the center of the flour mixture. In a small mixing bowl combine the egg and buttermilk, then add it all at once to the flour mixture.
With a large spoon stir the liquid into the dry ingredients until just moistened. The dough will continue to come together as you knead it (see next step).
Pour mixture onto a lightly floured surface. Gently knead by lifting and folding the mixture onto itself to form a dough (about four or five times). Do not overwork the dough or the bread will be tough.
After kneading, pat and shape the dough into a round loaf about seven inches in diameter. Transfer to a lightly greased baking sheet.
With a sharp knife make two slashes across the top to form an X, cutting all the way to the edge. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until golden. Let cool slightly.
Slice the bread or cut into wedges. Serve with butter and/or orange marmalade.