Thursday, March 17, 2011

Irish Soda Bread for St. Paddy’s Day

Even though I’d never made it before, I felt like I wouldn’t be a good Irish girl if I didn’t bake Irish Soda Bread for Saint Patrick’s Day this year.  (And it’s beside the point that I have overripe bananas on my counter and only one loaf pan.  It was a tough choice!)

I don’t have much time for baking these days with a little one around and the commitments of work and family, so I planned ahead.  Last night I measured and combined my dry ingredients in advance.  (I’m sure a baking expert would say that this does something the freshness of the ingredients, but I was willing to take a risk.  Chances are, that expert doesn’t have young children.) 

This morning, I added the wet ingredients to the dry while my coffee brewed and popped it in the oven to bake while I took my shower, all before Nathan woke up. (After I measured the few dry ingredients last night I realized I could have done this in the morning, but I’m glad I did because I went to bed too late last night and the last thing I felt like doing first this morning was baking.  But I wasn’t about to let all those dry ingredients go to waste, so I made myself do it.)

Serving suggestion with coffee, of course.
The results are delicious, and so timely.  I come from (and married into) an Irish family, and have gotten away from the things we used to do when I was young.  Our family dog had been born on Saint Patrick’s Day, so that added to the fun—we celebrated with an Entenmann’s chocolate cake with green icing and let her eat the first piece.  We also used green food coloring in our mashed potatoes and milk—pretty strange to eat and drink, but fun.  As Nathan gets older I want to be sure to incorporate some Irish heritage into our lives.  Hopefully we can come up with more than just corned beef and cabbage!

The texture is really nice.
Unlike storebought Irish soda bread, this recipe came out buttery, moist and slightly sweet with a nice, crumbly texture. The recipe was given to me by a friend at my bridal shower.  I don’t know the source, so in my ignorance I thought it’d be okay to share the recipe here. There’s still time to make it for Saint Paddy’s day, so I hope you do.  Enjoy!

He likes it!

Irish Soda Bread

Makes one 9 x 5-inch loaf


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 325° F

Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and baking soda. Mix egg and buttermilk together, then add all at ounce to the flour mixture. Mix just until moistened. Stir in butter. Add raisins if desired. Pour into greased pan.

Bake 65 to 70 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

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