|A little bouquet of shamrocks that Joel brought me on St. Patrick's Day a few years ago.|
|I wish I could be back in County Donegal this St. Patrick's Day.|
|Or Dublin. I'd be happy to be in Dublin too.|
A few years ago I made the best soda bread (even if the recipe isn't the most authentic one out there). It reminded me of traditional English scones. I heard somewhere that this sweeter version of soda bread is considered a tea bread and maybe wouldn't normally be eaten with a meat and potatoes supper, but we often make our own rules around here.
I looked at the soda bread at the local grocery store bakery out of curiosity. It was over $4.00 a loaf and it didn't look very good either. This recipe is easy to make, has a nice texture, isn't dry at all and has a great flavor.
I keep thinking I need to not wait a whole year before we have it again. Would you like some? Here's the recipe:
Irish Soda Bread
3 1/4 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut up
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
1/2 to 1 cup currants (my store didn't have them so I used dried cranberries but you could use raisins too)
1 Tbsp. sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix first five ingredients (sift or stir together with a fork). Using a pastry blender, mix in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in buttermilk just until moistened. Stir in currants.
Turn dough out onto a well floured board and knead ten times. Shape into a round loaf about 2 1/2" thick and cut a deep cross in the top with a sharp knife. Sprinkle loaf with the remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake on a greased cookie sheet or on a baking stone for one hour or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack before cutting into wedges and serving with real butter if desired. Yum.
Now if only I had a peat fire, I could curl up with James Joyce and be completely happy. Erin go bragh.
|Yeah, that's me and James Joyce in Dublin.|
|A little Irish wisdom for you in parting.|