Confession: if I find myself at the end of a rainbow, I still look for the pot of gold, just like I did when I was a kid. Wishful thinking, I guess.
Now that these Irish soda bread muffins are all gone – gobbled up in a flash – I think I’d be equally okay with finding another basket of these at the end of a rainbow. Okay, fine, maybe the muffins alongside a 5 1/2 quart round soleil Le Creuset french oven with even just a handful of gold pieces thrown in. What, I can’t be specific about the pot?!
But I digress. Irish soda bread muffins. Yes, yes.
I adore my Irish soda bread this time of year, but a couple of days ago, I was craving something a little different. So these muffins came into being.
With their caraway seeds, raisins (currants would have been better, but I was out), and a just-right, subtle amount of sweetness, I was actually surprised by how much these muffins resembled little versions of the real thing. Except they’re moist and spongy, and sport a cute paper liner, and boast a crunchy coarse sugar topping.
These are more dense than your typical muffin, which had me a little worried when I first pulled them out of the oven. But they were just perfect. A muffin-bread hybrid in the best possible way.
I say take a couple, slather them with butter, and then go find a rainbow. I’d like to think it’s never too late to wish for something extraordinary at the end.
I adapted these muffins from King Arthur Flour. Have you visited their website and browsed their recipes? If not, go, go! They’ve got a gazillion on their site. I could get lost for hours in a big ol’ puff of flour.
Irish Soda Bread Muffins
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (or substitute more all-purpose flour)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup currants or raisins (I used half regular raisins and half golden raisins)
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla yogurt is fine too)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- Demerara or other coarse sugar for topping
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12-cup, standard-size muffin tin with paper liners.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, currants/raisins, and caraway seeds.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg, yogurt, vegetable oil, and orange zest.
- Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and gently combine with a large spoon, mixing just until the batter comes together. The batter will be very thick.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, dividing evenly between the 12 cups. I used an ice cream scoop which made quick work of it.
- Sprinkle coarse sugar over the top of each muffin.
- Bake for 18 - 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and tip each muffin in their pan to help the steam escape and avoid soggy bottoms. Let cool for 5 minutes, then move the muffins to a rack to finish cooling enough to serve.
- Serve with butter and/or jam.
- Serve with butter and/or jam.