Monday, March 15, 2010

Irish Soda Bread - Tasty Tuesday!

This week, I had a plan for what I was going to put up on Tasty Tuesday. It's my week to bring in lunch for everyone at the bi-weekly PTO president meeting in my district. And hey, it's St. Patrick's Day on Wednesday, so making something Irish was an easy choice.

Not so easy? Figuring out what to bring for 25 or so people that's Irish but isn't something that half the people won't like. Thus, corned beef was out. And lamb stew. I was going to do baked potatoes with a variety of toppings, including chili, until that was done last meeting.


Then I found inspiration (literally). While cleaning off my book shelf to make more room for the wee ones' books, I discovered that I have a traditional Irish recipes cookbook. I eagerly leafed through it. And then I decided that I was bringing in the cookbook just to show everyone how lucky they are that I didn't bring in any of those items.

I was back to the drawing board and drawing a blank. I finally decided to make a potato soup (still deciding what recipe to use, if you have a suggestion), fresh bread, scones, and Irish soda bread. Wa-la. Hopefully that's enough food to make everyone happy.

The Irish soda bread I make is the same one that my mom makes that her mom made that she got from her husband's family who came from Ireland. That being said, I have a feeling it isn't the most traditional Irish soda bread, but it's ours and it's yummy.

You'll notice in the picture that the bread has butter on it. Odd, I know, but this is something my family does. While I rarely put butter on regular bread, my family has taught me to put butter on other bread-like products that definitely don't need any additional fat or calories - coffee cakes, muffins, cinnamon rolls, and the like. Go fig. It's what we do. And the butter on the Irish soda bread is pretty yummy.

Irish Soda Bread

5 c flour
1 c sugar
1 T baking powder
2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 c butter
2 1/2 c seedless raisins
2 1/2 c buttermilk
1 egg

Grease two large loaf pans. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the butter until pea sized chunks appear. Add the raisins and stir to distribute.

In a liquid measuring cup, add the egg to the buttermilk and whisk gently until the egg is lightly beaten and no goopy strands remain. Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients, and stir gently until just combined.

Turn into the two loaf pans, and cut across the top lengthwise. Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour. Butter the top when it comes out of the oven. Lay on one side for a few minutes, then lay on the opposite side for a few minutes. After both sides, remove from the pan and continue cooling on a wire rack.

Enjoy warm or room temperature. This will keep for a few days but is best within the first two days. And yes, butter makes it better!

For this and more, go visit Blessed With Grace and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.


Jerri March 15, 2010 at 8:44 PM  

I've never made this before. Sounds good!

Anonymous March 15, 2010 at 9:41 PM  

I hopped over to Tempt My Tummy and intended to post Irish Soda bread (which I have never made) and saw your link. Thought if her recipe is different than mine I'll post, BUT almost exactly the same. Only differences are mine has caraway seeds and the ingredients are 1/3 the amounts of yours!!! So... point to all this...maybe it is traditional Irish bread as my recipe is from a traditional bread book and they state this is a traditional bread enjoyed with tea!

Now think I will post Vegetable Barley Soup instead!


Pat March 15, 2010 at 10:35 PM  

This sounds much yummier than traditional Irish soda bread, which has only flour, salt, soda and buttermilk. I lived with an Irish family in a suburb of Dublin during my junior year of college, and my Irish "mum" was a fantastic cook. She baked soda bread and whole wheat soda bread every Saturday and all kinds of other delicious things. Oh, the memories of Ireland!

Connie March 15, 2010 at 11:38 PM  

Yeah, be sure to show them what they are lucky to be missing!
Great choice and good recipe for Irish soda bread. It's very much like the one my parents always make.

Mrs. P. March 16, 2010 at 7:54 AM  

We love Irish Soda Bread and yours looks especially yummy!


Dan March 16, 2010 at 1:34 PM  

Butter makes *everything* better. Especially popcorn. {*grin*}

The bread looks very tasty - I'll have to give it a try.

(I think you should have served the PTA group that old Irish standby - boiled cabbage, potato, and tripe soup. I bet no one would have eaten once the ingredients were listed.)

Sherry March 16, 2010 at 4:10 PM  

I'll have to try this. I've seen recipes, but I haven't ever had it or made it for that matter. :D

Megryansmom March 16, 2010 at 6:31 PM  

I always butter my soda bread. Shhh don't tell anyone, but I bought a loaf at Jewel on Friday and today I ate the last slice. I scarfed that little loaf of bread all by myself in 5 days LOL. Mmm it was sooo good.

Michelle March 16, 2010 at 9:40 PM  

Jeri - It is, and so easy. It's one of the great recipes to pull out when you want something a little different.

April - Oh that makes me feel better. My mom and I had discussed how some have caraway seeds (ours doesn't), but I didn't realize it was otherwise that "authentic" - phew!

Pat - Yeah well, my family adds things. Mostly calories ;) But at least they taste pretty good!

Connie - Ooo, good reminder. I was packing up stuff for tomorrow and almost forgot to grab that book. Thanks!

Gail - Awww thanks! It's yummy stuff, isn't it?

Dan - You know, I don't butter my popcorn. Isn't that odd? And that recipe with tripe? It's in the cookbook. Lots of offal and other such things that I was NOT going to cook!

Sherry - Oh definitely try it. It's perfect for St. Patrick's Day!

Megryansmom - You must be related to me somehow then. I feel much better. And five days? I think you did pretty good! It doesn't last super long after all....

septembermom March 17, 2010 at 6:18 PM  

Now that I know how to make scones, I'm all ready for the soda bread! Thanks Michelle. I'll let you know how I do with this recipe.

Michelle March 25, 2010 at 11:27 PM  

Kelly - The soda bread is totally easy! You can do it, and I hope you all enjoy it.

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