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This recipe was featured in an email today from the www.kingarthurflour.com website: "So who says Irish soda bread HAS to be made in a round or loaf pan? These coffee-break-sized muffins, bursting with tiny sweet currants and a hint (or a hit, your choice) of caraway, are the perfect offering for St. Patrick's Day -- particularly if you're looking to celebrate with something other than corned beef and cabbage! This is not at all a traditional Irish soda bread, which would be simply made with whole-wheat flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk. Thoroughly Americanized, these muffins have traveled a long, long way from their Irish origin -- as have most of us Irish-Americans."
- 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3⁄4 cup white whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1⁄2 cups currants, first choice (or raisins)
- 1⁄2-2 teaspoon caraway seed, to taste
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup buttermilk (or yogurt or sour cream)
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted (or 1/3 cup vegetable oil)
- sparkling white sugar, for topping
- Preheat the oven to 400°F Lightly grease a standard muffin pan; or line with papers, and grease the papers.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, currants or raisins, and caraway seeds.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk (or equivalent) and melted butter (or equivalent).
- Quickly and gently combine the dry and wet ingredients; honestly, this won't take more than a few stirs with a bowl scraper or large spoon. As soon as everything is evenly moistened, quit; further stirring will cause the muffins to be tough.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, filling the cups about 3/4 full; the stiff batter will look mounded in the cups. Sprinkle on the sparkling sugar.
- Bake the muffins for 20 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Tip the muffins in the pan, so their bottoms don't get soggy. Remove them from the oven, wait 5 minutes, then transfer the muffins to a rack to cool. Serve them plain, or with butter and/or jam.