Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Irish Soda Bread

As an Irish lass I feel it is my duty to write about Saint Patrick's Day.  My mom has always made Irish soda bread during the entire month of March for as long I can remember so I grew up associating it with Saint Paddy's Day and my Irish heritage... yeah, who doesn't, I know.  Anyway, it makes a great breakfast on the run, mid-afternoon snack, or light dessert.  This year I tried my hand at the recipe my great-grandmother Sadie used to make.  Here she is with my great-grandfather Jack.  They both traveled to America from County Cork, Ireland in the steerage section of The Canard.  Don't they look glamorous?  They were married in 1926 at Saint Peter's Church in Dorchester, Massachusetts.  

And here are my grandparents, a Scot and an Irishwoman, with my mom as a baby.  With six children older than my mom I think they look quite relaxed, don't you agree?  I hope I would have the energy to get my hair done and be fully accessorized if I were to have seven small children!  By the way, eight years after my mom they had one more!

Now on to the baking!  It's a simple recipe to make and I've no doubt it will turn out better for you than it did for me.  I checked the bread when it had about ten minutes left and to my utter dismay I found that it was as brown as a graham cracker and not the familiar creamy white to which I'm accustomed.  In a later conversation with my mother I was informed that although the recipe says to bake for an hour it really only takes about 40 minutes.  That would have been good to know before I baked my bread.  No worries though - as soon as it was cool I sliced it up and quickly tasted a piece.  I found it to be delicious and not dry in the least!  My favorite way to have Irish bread is toasted and buttered.  What's yours?   

Irish Soda Bread
3 C flour
2/3 C sugar
1 T baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 3/4 C raisins
1 T caraway seeds
2 eggs, beaten
1 3/4 buttermilk
2 T melted shortening
Preheat oven to 350° and grease a cast iron pan or loaf pan.  Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl.  Stir in raisins and caraway seeds.  Combine eggs, buttermilk, and shortening in a small bowl.  Add liquid mixture to dry mixture and combine until flour is just moistened.  Turn into greased pan and bake for about 40 minutes.  Remove from pan immediately.  Allow to cool through before serving.       

1 comment:

  1. your mom looks just like her mom. she does look amazing, hopefully i will be able to also :)


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