Just in time for St. Paddy’s Day: Sara’s Irish Soda Bread

Sara made this soda bread last year, and it was moist and great. It was actually the first time I’d ever had it, despite being part Irish (25%? I think). St. Patrick’s Day is not as big a deal in LA, where I grew up, as it is in Chicago, where I live now. It’s a citywide celebration here–the river is green, the beer is green, the drunkards are green. This bread isn’t green, but it’s as Irish as you can get. It apparently rose in popularity when baking soda was introduced to Ireland, during the 1880s. According to this msnbc article, soda bread was embraced because it could be made without an oven. A simple cast iron pot with a lid over a fire was enough to do the trick. Plus, it doesn’t require kneading–smart Irish folk!

Grandma Donlin’s Irish Soda Bread

Top O’ the mornin’ to ya! You may notice from my guest entries that I am a fan of holiday-themed food. Since I am 50% Irish, St. Patrick’s Day is no exception. I tend to eat potatoes and cabbage and drink Irish stout all winter long to stay warm and healthy, like a good Irish leprechaun, but March is the time for Irish Soda Bread. In addition to being a great treat for St. Patrick’s Day, it is nice for Easter brunch (for the Irish Catholic folks out there). For years, I tried different recipes to find one that is easy, authentic, and moist (a lot of soda breads tend to be dry and crumbly). I finally asked my mom to ask a family friend, Mrs. O’Connor, for her family recipe. This bread is really easy to make and is nice and moist–it will surely bring out your freckles. It is delicious with Irish tea or a pint of stout. I’ve frozen it too, and it still made me jig a few weeks later.

3 c flour
1 Tbl baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2/3 c sugar
1 or 2 eggs
3 Tbl melted butter
1 1/4 c buttermilk
1 c raisins

Sift flour into mixing bowl. Add baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, and butter. Mix in buttermilk. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Add raisins. Mix all together. Pour into cake pan. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool on rack and serve.

Gaelic proverbs:

Bidh mìr a’ ghill’ èasgaidh air gach mèis.
The smart fellow’s share is on every dish.

Cha dèan cat miotagach sealg.
A cat in mittens won’t catch mice.

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About Kate Soto

domestikating.wordpress.com

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