"No matter where the name comes from, this is an old-fashioned recipe that stands the test of time."
~Serious EatsBeing 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.
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.