Sunday, March 16, 2014

Irish Soda Bread!

Below is a blog post from the past:

Getting ready for Saint Patrick's day tomorrow, my son, Joseph and I made some Irish soda bread tonight. I'm telling you, it was delicious! It really tasted too good for a Lenten Friday. We used my friend, Mary Maguire's old time recipe (and adapted it a little). We doubled this recipe to make two loaves; one for tonight (just to make sure it tasted good!) and one for tomorrow!

Here is the recipe:

3 cups flour (I use whole wheat flour, sometimes unbleached white, and sometimes spelt and gluten free flours)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. caraway seeds (optional, but I lOVE them!)
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup butter softened
1/2 cup sugar (I usually substitute honey or agave nectar, and sometimes I combine them)
1 egg
1 cup raisins (I use a mix of golden and black raisins)

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and caraway seeds in a large bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly; stir in raisins and sugar. Add beaten egg and buttermilk to mixture; stir until dough clings together. On lightly floured surface, knead gently and shape into ball. Grease and flour cake pan lightly; pat to fit pan. Brush top with beaten egg and cut a deep cross in top of bread with sharp knife. Bake in about 350 degrees oven for about an hour or until a cake pick, inserted in center, comes out clean. Place on wire rack and brush top with butter.

We substituted soy butter for the butter (but some years we use real butter) and we shaped our loaves into rounds and baked them on cookie sheets rather than in cake pans, both ways work well. We didn't put an egg wash on top this time. Sometimes I use half whole wheat flour and half unbleached white flour to make the bread a bit more nutritious. [Edited today: Lately I have been baking it with gluten free flours or a mix of spelt flour.]

Also, I'll let you in on a little secret. I don't usually have buttermilk on hand, so instead, I use regular milk with a couple of tablespoons of Apple Cider vinegar mixed in to curdle it. Don't worry, this is safe and some recipes give this option.

Every time we make Irish soda bread we ask ourselves why we only make this bread at St. Patrick's day. It tastes so delicious we should make it more often!

I hope you get a chance to make some Irish Soda bread. :)

God bless you and yours!

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