I had tried making Irish soda bread before, once or twice (I can't remember!) and it didn't turn out well at all. Despite being part Irish, I didn't know exactly what it was supposed to be like, even after an unimpressive purchased loaf. Reading enough of these recipes, though, and seeing the photos, I got a pretty good idea.
I made half the recipe and used butter and my KitchenAid. No work at all, beautiful looking, baked perfectly and smells wonderful. I think the KitchenAid helped the overall result, kneading it till it was smooth and somewhat elastic. My oven runs a little hot so I set it for 350°, but it was looking about done after half an hour, so I think cooking it at a lower temp like some people have said sounds wise, though it was perfectly cooked. I think it turned out as good as soda bread could possibly be. I prefer bread to be a little less like biscuits or cake, but it's delicious, fine textured and not too crumbly.
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I had tried making Irish soda bread before, once or twice (I can't remember!) and it didn't...