March 17, 2014

St. Patrick Himself!

Here's a marvelous link to everything you ever wanted to know about St. Patrick!  And who wouldn't?  After all, he was Scottish, you know (!).  Enjoy!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tomorrow marks the feast of this great Irish saint and to celebrate here's my favorite recipe for good ole fashioned "Irish Soda Bread" (of which there would be no "soda" without the visit to Ireland of two Americans, Mr. Arm and Mr. Hammer!).  It's my favorite because it's won out over many other failures through the years!

I cut this recipe out of a magazine years ago, but unfortunately did not cut out the magazine's name.  So, if anyone recognizes this exact recipe, please let me know so I may ascribe proper credit.  Enjoy!

Irish Soda Bread

Prep: 10 minutes
Bake: 1 hour

1/4 c. sugar
1 tbl. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
4 cups all-purpose flour
6 tbl. cold butter
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
1 c. golden or dark seedless raisins (optional - not authentic to original Irish soda breads, the addition of expensive dried fruits was a later American indulgence)

1.  Preheat oven to 350F degrees.  Grease large cookie sheet.
2.  In large bowl, combine sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and flour.  With pastry blender or forks, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
3.  Add buttermilk just until evenly moistened.  With floured hand, gently knead dough minimally into ball.  Do not over mix or bread will be tough.
4.  Place dough on cookie sheet and shape into roughly 7" round loaf.  With sharp knife, cut 4" long cross 1/4" deep in top and sprinkle loaf lightly with flour.
5.  Bake one hour.  Cool on wire rack.

This recipe yields a lightly buttery, moist bread with a rough, crunchy, crusty outside.  MMMmmmm!