Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St Paddy's Day: My Pop's Irish Soda Bread

Aside from having blue eyes and freckles, one of the best things about being Irish-American is St Patrick's Day. And let's face it, the Irish are such good merry-makers, that we've opened our holiday to all-comers: Everyone's Irish on St Patrick's Day!

So, this year I decided to celebrate this greenest of days by making a loaf of my Pop's soda bread. From what I understand, my dad's recipe is a bit more traditional. Most of the Irish Soda Bread that you see in the US at this time of year is much more cake-like than bread-like - sweet and with a fine cakey crumb. But my dad's recipe actually produces a very lightly sweetened, somewhat crumbly bread. I think of it as the health-conscious cousin of a scone. It's perfect to enjoy lightly buttered with a cup of tea.

 Pop's Irish Soda Bread
2 c flour
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp softened butter
1 c buttermilk (or 1c milk + 1 Tbsp vinegar)
1/2-1c raisins (depending on how raisin-y you like it)
1 Tbsp caraway seeds (optional)

Preheat oven to 375. Sift first 5 ingredients into a bowl. Cut in the butter (by hand or in mixer). Stir in raisins and seeds. Gradually stir in the buttermilk until the flour is wet. The dough should be soft and a bit sticky. Turn out onto a floured board or counter.

Knead until smooth, sprinkling with additional flour if necessary. Form into a round disc about 8" across. Place onto a greased cookie sheet. Cut a cross into the dough.

Bake for 40 min until center is dry and loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Brush with melted butter if you want to give loaf a nice shine.

I should add that you can leave out the caraway seeds (like I did) if you're not crazy about them. I also used white whole wheat flour for about 1/3 of the called for flour.

So, whether you are Irish by birth or just by mirth, here's hoping that your beer is green today! Erin go bragh, peeps!!


Karin said...

Yum! Looks good. Happy St Patrick's Day!

KImbersew said...

Oh yeah! I made up a loaf last night. Quick! Easy! and I'm eating a slice (or 3) right now with my tea. Delicious. Light (even with the white whole wheat [Bob's]) and not too sweet. THANK YOU!

Clio said...

@Kimbersew - Oh yay! I'm so glad you like it! It IS hard to eat just one slice.

Michele | Sequined Aspahult Studio said...

YUM! Food on the blog again!

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Yum! As for me, I look forward to my friend's Guinness cake every year. Oh man, that is some goooood cake.