Mar 26 2008
Happy way-belated St. Patrick’s Day. I’m trying to catch-up with all that I haven’t blogged about in the last 2 weeks. It is a lots.
Throught the week you can look forward to all this:
plus some post about my renovations that are going on here.
I really wish I could have shared this with you on St. Patrick’s Day, but there is no reason you can’t make it any day of the year. It really is that good.
Actually, this recipe has extra special meaning to me. When I was growing up (in Miami), my across the street neighbor used to make us Irish Soda bread every St. Patrick’s Day without fail and it always came in a clear plastic bag with a shamrock sticker on the top right in the middle. We were always really excited – and I loved the stickers.
There was no way to get her to give us this recipe. And, when we moved away to Texas there was no more Irish Soda Bread. Then, I moved to Germany and there was still no Irish Soda Bread. I finally got the nerve up to ask (again) for the recipe. And, guess what??
I got it (surprise mom!)!!!! It’s only been 19 years since I had my first bite! And, I made it right away!!
It was so comforting to eat this bread. It brought back happy childhood memories. It is also one of the only foods I will eat raisins in. I believe that the traditional recipe would call for currants b/c that’s what my husband’s Welsh family recipes normally call for.
Without further adieu, the recipe:
51/2 Cups Flour
1/2 Cup Fructose (or sugar)
3 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 Cup Butter
2 Cups Buttermilk
1 1/2 Cups Raisins (or Currants)
Preheat oven to 177°C (350°F).
Prepare 2 greased baking sheets or 1 really large one*.
In a mixing bowl combine the flour, fructose, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using a pastry knife, work in the butter until it looks like fine crumbs (it will seem like nothing is happening for a while, but eventually it will happen, maybe after 3-4 minutes).
In a separate bowl combine the buttermilk and egg, and add to the dry ingredients, stirring until blended. Once it gets too tough, use your hands. Knead in the raisins until they are evenly distributed.
Turn out onto a floured working surface and knead until smooth. Dived the dough in half and shape into 2 round loaves. Place on two well-greased baking sheets (or one big one). Press a large floured dinner-knife into the center of the loaf/loaves almost through to the bottom. Repeat at a right angle to divide the loaves into quarters. (Cut four-inch cross on top of each). Sprinkle with flour.
Bake for 50 minutes if are using an electric oven or 1 hour and 40 minutes if you are using a gas oven – until top is golden and loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Remove to wire wrack to cool.
*If you have a typical American-sized oven you will probably be able to fit the loaves side-by-side on one baking sheet. If you have a typical German (or European)-sized oven, you will have to use 2 different baking sheets. I found that they did not bake well with 2 loaves in the oven at one time (since I have a German oven) and will next time bake one at a time.