So I’m a little bit Irish–enough to have freckles but not enough to feel like I’m allowed to wear “Kiss Me I’m Irish” tee-shirts and drink myself into a stupor on the 17th of March. Plus, I’m not really the drink-myself-into-oblivion type of person as it is.
I am, however, the cook-according-to-the-occasion type of person, so you get to experience Irish weekend…after St. Patrick’s day. I meant to post this last night, but fell asleep while watching The Horse Whisperer (sorry, Erin), so you get to have a little of a belated Irish holiday.
Irish soda bread. This is the most basic bread recipe possible–you can start with this recipe and mix in whatever you want (raisins and a little sugar, or herbs and cheese, and other awesome ideas here) to step it up a notch. This bread was mixed and out of the oven in a lot less than an hour.
Irish Soda Bread (recipe adapted from Edible Ireland)
- 2 C whole-wheat flour
- 2 C all-purpose flour
- 1 t salt
- 1 t baking soda
- 1 2/3 C buttermilk (I used 7 T dry buttermilk powder and 1 2/3 C water, separated)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine all of the dry ingredients (for me, this was the two flours, salt, baking soda, and buttermilk powder) into the mixer bowl.
Add the liquid (either buttermilk or the water if using dried buttermilk), and mix until combined using the flat beater paddle (or by hand, of course). The dough will look shaggy and messy.
I always pull a stool out from under the table for Henry to sit on. Since I always push him off the table, he’s finally learned that I’ll let him sit on the stool and watch.
I’m okay with two paws on the table…just not four. He is perpetually fascinated by the mixer.
Switch to the dough hook and knead it for just a few minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a flat circle about an inch deep. Place on a baking sheet either lightly greased or lined with a nonstick baking mat.
Cut a deep “X” into the top using a sharp knife. This might have to do with warding off evil or fairies, or just allowing the bread to rise and expand more evenly in the oven. Whatever you want to believe–it’s pretty either way.
Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, rotating it halfway through. The recipe originally said 30 minutes, but mine was done much faster! It should be brown on top and sound hollow when you tap the bottom.
Let it cool thoroughly before slicing.
Fritz and I had a few slices with butter and honey–definitely delicious! Next time I make this, I’m going the sweet and raisins route.
It was so easy to make that I’ll definitely be using it for days that don’t have to do with the Irish.
Oh, and don’t leave this out for too long–the cross on top definitely doesn’t work to ward off cats.
He liked it too.