Thursday, March 15, 2012

Irish Soda Bread from your Italian blogger!

              For all of you celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this upcoming weekend, here’s a recipe for Irish Soda Bread.  I know it’s not the healthiest of breads, but anything made at home is better than store bought or processed.   According to the March 7th issue of the Post Standard the first Irish soda bread was made in the 1800s when baking soda was introduced in Ireland.

                I know some of you are probably surprised that this full blood Italian makes Irish Soda bread!  Here’s my story.  About 15 years ago when I was planning my wedding I came across a recipe for Irish Soda Bread in a bridal magazine.  Because my husband is Irish, I thought I had better broaden my horizons with baking and include something Irish and start a tradition for St. Patrick’s Day.  So here’s the funny part!  As I am taking that first loaf of Irish Soda Bread out of the oven (at my parents – I was still living at home), my full blood Irish neighbor rings the doorbell and comes in with a freshly baked load of Irish Soda Bread.  She was shocked that her Italian neighbor had just baked an Irish treat and was caught off guard!  It was quite funny!  I have been making it every year since!  Last year, my 10 year old son made it mostly by himself.  It’s easy and tasty.  So, to all my Irish friends and family:  Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Enjoy…

Irish Soda Bread

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¼ cup butter

1 cup golden raisins

1 ¾ cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375°.  In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Cut in margarine until crumbly.  Stir in raisins.  Add buttermilk and stir until mixture is combined and forms a soft dough.  Turn out onto a lightly floured surface.  Gather dough into a ball and gently knead (6 to 8 turns) with the heal of your hand until dough holds together.  Shape into a 7 inch rounded disk and place on an ungreased baking sheet (I used my Pampered Chef deep dish baker).  Cut a 1 inch deep X across the top of the bread.  Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.  Let cool on a rack.  Makes 1 loaf.

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