Hi My Faithful Readers,
I am going in a different direction today and I hope you are okay with it...
Whether you're cooking corned beef, cabbage and potatoes der boy or you're stewing some beef and Guinness, a freshly baked loaf of Irish Soda bread will lend a touch of the old country to your St. Patrick's Day celebration.
I grew up in a large family of six children and we ate A LOT of Irish soda bread. My favorite way to eat soda bread is when it's still warm from the oven with lots of orange marmalade spread on it. It is so delicious and easy to make because there is no yeast in this bread!
There are two schools of taste concerning Irish soda bread. The first school (mine) prefers a pure and classic soda bread that is closer to what you would find in a pub in Ireland. The second school prefers a soda bread that is sweeter, more like a cake, with raisins, caraway seeds or both.
Here is my tried and true recipe for Irish Soda bread. You be the judge and please tell me how it turns out for you!
Irish Soda Bread
2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter or regular margarine, softened
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon butter or regular margarine, melted
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease a small cookie sheet.
2. In a large bowl, sift flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. Cut in softened butter with a pastry blender or a fork until mixture looks like fine crumbs
4. Add buttermilk; mix in with a fork only until dry ingredients are moistened.
5. Turn out on lightly floured pastry cloth or board. Knead gently until smooth -- about 1 minute. Shape into a ball. Place on a prepared cookie sheet: flatten into a 7-inch circle (Dough will be about
1-1/2 inches thick.) Press a large floured knife into center of loaf almost about half way through the loaf. Repeat, at right angles to divide the loaf into quarters.
6. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until top is golden and loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
7. Remove to wire rack to cool. Brush top with melted butter. Dust with flour, if you wish.
Makes 1 loaf.