Monday, March 22, 2010

Irish Soda Bread

St. Patrick's Day has never really been my thing. I don't really think of myself as being Irish, even though apparently I am a little tiny bit.  One year my friends and I were in Vegas for our first Spring Break and it happened to be over St. Patrick's Day, so that's really the only one I can remember where I had a wee bit too much fun.  Otherwise, St. Pat's usually comes and goes without much notice from me.

I wanted to try to do SOMETHING Irish-ish this year though. I browsed around on the internet and quite honestly most all Irish food looked absolutely disgusting. Basically the only thing that popped out at me was this Irish Soda Bread.  I like bread, so I thought I'd go for it.

Irish Soda Bread
from "Simply"
4 cups flour
2 Tbsp Sugar (I used 3)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
4 Tbsp butter
1 cup raisins
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 3/4 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk together 4 cups of flour, the sugar, salt and baking soda in a large mixing bowl.
Using a pastry cutter, work butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal, then stir in raisins.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add beaten egg and buttermilk to well and mix with a wooden spoon until dough is too stiff to stir. Dust hands with a little flour and gently knead dough into a rough ball. (it will be kind of like biscuit dough)
Trasfer dough to a large, lightly greased cast-iorn skillet or baking sheet (I used a round 9"cake pan). using a serrated knife, score the top of the dough with a deep "X" shape.
I also sprinkled some sugar over the top, because, I love sugar.
Cook about 35-45 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick.
Remove from oven and let bread sit in pan for 10-15 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.

Lots of people say that Irish Soda Bread is best warm, right out of the oven, and they are correct.  It's a VERY simple tasting bread. Kind of like a biscuit with raisins. Not too sweet, but not too bland. It was perfect for me.  It was really, really good right away, but after sitting for a day it got hard and dry. So if you make this, plan on eating it all right away.  It makes a lot, so have company over :)

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Greenwood, Missouri, United States