Saturday, March 17, 2012


Happy St. Patrick's Day, to all of my Irish and Non-Irish Friends...

I used to have a tradition with my Portuguese Mother-In-Law, she would make corned-beef and cabbage, and the two of us would have a St. Patty's Day celebration, Irish Soda Bread and all.  Now I live in another state, which has killed our bonding celebration, but still whenever I come to visit, she always surprises me with a delicious loaf of Irish Soda Bread.

Unfortunately, I hadn't put too much thought into Irish Soda Bread this year, so my hubby, being the wonderful man he is, is running out to the local bakery to pick me up a loaf that I plan to devour when I get home from work today. 

Me, a stick of butter and warm Irish Soda Bread....yeah....Sounds like heaven!!

 Oh, and I am planning to finish this wonderful Anthology that I started yesterday, by THREE wonderful authors, Kiss Me, I'm Irish...I thought it appropriate for this weekend!!

What are you planning today??  Do you have any Traditions for the holiday??

For any of my friends looking for a quick and easy recipe for some YUMMY Irish Soda Bread, here is one I stole from the Internet, and it had pictures, which I happen to like while baking bread.  If you have a BETTER recipe for me, that maybe has been pased down from your grandmother's mother...PLEASE SHARE!!  Those are ALWAYS the best kind of recipes.

 Irish Soda Bread Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes


  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk


1 Preheat oven to 425°. Whisk together 4 cups of flour, the sugar, salt, and baking soda into a large mixing bowl.

2 Using your (clean) fingers (or two knives or a pastry cutter), work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal, then add in the raisins.
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3 Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add beaten egg and buttermilk to well and mix in with a wooden spoon until dough is too stiff to stir. Dust hands with a little flour, then gently knead dough in the bowl just long enough to form a rough ball. If the dough is too sticky to work with, add in a little more flour. Do not over-knead! Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and shape into a round loaf. Note that the dough will be a little sticky, and quite shaggy (a little like a shortcake biscuit dough). You want to work it just enough so that the flour is just moistened and the dough just barely comes together. Shaggy is good. If you over-knead, the bread will end up tough.

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4 Transfer dough to a large, lightly greased cast-iron skillet or a baking sheet (it will flatten out a bit in the pan or on the baking sheet). Using a serrated knife, score top of dough about an inch and a half deep in an "X" shape. The purpose of the scoring is to help heat get into the center of the dough while it cooks. Transfer to oven and bake until bread is golden and bottom sounds hollow when tapped, about 35-45 minutes. (If you use a cast iron pan, it may take a little longer as it takes longer for the pan to heat up than a baking sheet.) Check for doneness also by inserting a long, thin skewer into the center. If it comes out clean, it's done.

Hint 1: If the top is getting too dark while baking, tent the bread with some aluminum foil.
Hint 2: If you use a cast iron skillet to cook the bread in the oven, be very careful when you take the pan out. It's easy to forget that the handle is extremely hot. Cool the handle with an ice cube, or put a pot holder over it.

Remove pan or sheet from oven, let bread sit in the pan or on the sheet for 5-10 minutes, then remove to a rack to cool briefly. Serve bread warm, at room temperature, or sliced and toasted. Best when eaten warm and just baked.

Yield: Makes one loaf.

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