Many people in the Irish community typically celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by baking Irish soda bread, watching a local parade, and indulging in Irish-inspired dishes such as Irish stew, corned beef and cabbage, Guinness pie, and shepherd’s pie.
However, to make your St. Patrick’s Day meals even more enjoyable, you can give some of these classic foods a modern twist. For instance, instead of baking the typical Irish soda bread, you can make Irish soda bread muffins. These coffee-break-sized muffins with a hint of caraway and packed with little sweet currants are a fantastic St. Patrick’s Day offering. The muffins aren’t your conventional Irish soda bread, which is made of whole-wheat flour, buttermilk, salt, and baking soda. Like Irish-Americans, Irish soda bread muffins have traveled far from their Irish roots; they are thoroughly Americanized, but they still retain their Irish essence, according to an article published by Time Magazine.
Here’s a simple recipe to bake Irish soda bread muffins this St. Patrick’s Day.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 12 muffins
- All-purpose flour: 3 cups
- Large egg: 1
- Granulated sugar: 1/3 cup
- Salt: ½ teaspoon
- Currants or raisins: 1 ½ cups
- Caraway seeds: ½ to 2 teaspoons
- Baking soda: ¼ teaspoon
- Baking powder: 2 teaspoons
- Buttermilk, sour cream, or yogurt: 1 cup
- Butter melted: 6 tablespoons
- Sparkling white sugar
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 400°F. Lightly grease your muffin pan, or line it with papers and gently grease the papers.
Step 2: Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, currants, or raisins, caraway seeds, salt, and sugar, in a mixing bowl.
Step 3: Mix the buttermilk, melted butter, and egg in another bowl.
Step 4: Gently and quickly mix the wet and dry ingredients. This should take only a few stirs with a large spoon or a bowl scraper. Stop mixing once the mixture is evenly moistened because further stirring will result in a hard texture.
Step 5: Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin pan. Fill the cups till they are ¾ full, and then top the butter with sugar.
Step 6: Bake the muffins in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. At this point, you should be able to insert a cake tester or toothpick into a muffin and see if it comes out clean. Tip the muffins so that their bottoms don’t become soggy. After 5 minutes, put your muffins on a rack for them to cool.
Step 7: Serve your muffins plain or with jam and/or butter. You can serve the muffins for breakfast or lunch/dinner as a supplement to stew.
If you want your muffins to come out with a golden top, make sure to brush them with melted butter and then top them with demerara sugar right before baking.
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