Mini Irish Soda Bread with Blood Orange Marmalade

Mini Irish Soda Bread is rustic and crusty, with orange zest and currants baked right in.  Slather it with homemade blood orange marmalade for an extra delicious breakfast or snack!

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I’m excited about St. Patrick’s Day, and I’m not even Irish.  I’m not alone, I know that.  St. Patrick’s Day is a great excuse for us non-Irish people to wear funky green clothes that we normally wouldn’t, drink darker beer, and eat some glorious traditional Irish fare.  My cooking school instructor is Irish and is from Ireland, and she informed me that this recipe here is not traditional Irish soda bread — I actually asked her.  I’ll get a traditional one out some time, but for now, I’m content sticking with these non-traditional delicious minis. 🙂

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In typical blogger fashion, I try to change up my Irish soda bread each year.  Last year I made my Apricot Orange Irish Soda Bread, and it was delicious!  If you read my post on the Apricot Orange Irish soda bread, you’ll read about how my son’s first grade teacher made it in class for their St.Patty’s Day party, and I went right home and made a version close to it.  I’ve been making it ever year since, and I look forward to it more and more every year. 🙂

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The best part about this bread recipe is that there’s no yeast required, my friends.  It’s mostly flour and buttermilk, and a tiny bit of kneading.  No rising, no fuss.  You can enjoy this bread within 1 hour from the time you start.  Now that’s quick!  I portioned the dough into 12 portions, but you can do it even smaller.  I used my scale, and each portion weighed somewhere around 3.3 ounces.  I didn’t have the patience at the time to get them totally precise, but they were close enough.  Just bear in mind that if you make them smaller, they will take less time to bake.

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I don’t know if you’re a fan of marmalade, because some people find it bitter.  I find the bitter-sweet combination in marmalade irresistible, and I can’t imagine having Irish soda bread without it.  You can make this marmalade with regular orange, clementines, or whatever citrus you have, of course, but the blood orange is a special treat.  I just love that color, too. 🙂  The bottom line is, you’ve got to make some of this crusty, rustic bread studded with currants, and slather on some marmalade whether it’s homemade or not.  It just isn’t St. Patrick’s Day without it. 🙂

blood orange marmalade

Mini Irish Soda Bread with Blood Orange Marmalade
 
Prep time
Cook time
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Mini Irish Soda Bread is rustic and crusty, with orange zest and currants baked right in. Slather it with homemade blood orange marmalade for an extra delicious breakfast or snack!
Serves: 12 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for dried apricots
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ½" dice
  • 1¾ cup cold low fat buttermilk, shaken
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 cup dried currants
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or use your handheld electric mixer. Mix the dry ingredients on low speed. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is completely mixed into the dry ingredients. Using a fork, beat the egg, buttermilk, and zest in a measuring cup. Turn the mixer on low speed, and slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Combine the dried currants with one tablespoon of flour, then mix into the dough on low speed just until combined. The dough is VERY wet!
  3. Pour the dough out onto a well floured surface and knead a few times until the dough comes together. Separate the dough into 12 portions, as equally as possible, forming each into a round. Place on the prepared baking sheet within 2 inches of one another. Using a serrated knife, cut an "X" into the center of each dough round. Bake 35-45 minutes or until golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!
Notes
If you tap on the bread to check for a hollow sound and you hear crackling noises, that indicates moisture. You should continue baking the bread until you don't hear any. If your bread is very browned, turn down the heat to about 325 and continue to bake until no crackling noises are heard.

Recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa's Irish Soda Bread.
Blood Orange Marmalade
 
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Blood Orange Marmalade is a spread reminiscent of candied orange peel . It's the perfect spread for scones, Irish soda bread, or adding to sauces!
Ingredients
  • 6 large blood oranges
  • 3 lemons
  • sugar (1½ times the amount of cooked fruit)
  • 1 cup lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Slice the oranges and lemons very thinly, discarding the seeds. Place the fruit in large bowl and cover with water. Let stand overnight. The next day, boil the mixture in large saucepan for 45 minutes, then place in a bowl, cool, and cover with plastic wrap. Let the mixture stand overnight once more. Measure the mixture in a measuring cup, then place in a large saucepan and bring to a boil again. Add 1½ times sugar as there was fruit. For example, if there was 1 cup of fruit, you would use 1½ cups of sugar. Once the sugar is added, boil quickly for 45 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the lemon juice and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes and seal in sterilized jars. You can also decrease the recipe and make just enough for you to enjoy without dealing with jars…just store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy!
Notes
Total Time above includes letting the marmalade stand over night twice.

Recipe adapted from Tante Marie Cooking School.