Irish soda bread ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

16 March 2012

Irish soda bread

Irish soda bread with dried cherriesI keep meaning to document this one. St. Patrick's Day seems like a reasonable time, right?

Okay. In the long-forgotten days of Diary-L, before the term "blog" existed, I was internet friends with a girl named Siobhan, who lived in NYC, went to art school, and occasionally wrote down the things she cooked and baked. So I read her recipes, tried them out, and added them to my rotation. I baked my first acorn squash ever, I voluntarily ate pecans, and I mixed up flour and lemon juice-curdled milk to make her grandmother's soda bread.

Irish soda bread batterI wrote out the soda bread recipe by hand. For two years it hung on the wall of our terrible drafty gradschool house, alongside our scribbled formulas for eggplant business, pizza dough, and lentil soup. I baked it every couple weeks, and in our seven-person household, it vanished damn near instantly. Soda bread warm from the oven, with butter. Soda bread with peanut butter. Soda bread plain, cold from the fridge at 2 am.

Irish soda bread doughI haven't baked Siobhan's grandmother's soda bread in years. This is largely because John and I can't drink even a quart of milk before it goes off, and so we almost never have it in the house. But I may go ahead and chance it for a batch of soda bread.

This is transcribed exactly from the page that was taped to our wall. I always used caraway seeds instead of raisins or currants, 100%. Of course, this time we had no caraway seeds, so I baked half the dough with mixed dried cherries and half plain. It still worked admirably.

Irish soda bread doughEat Siobhan's grandmother's soda bread.

4 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup veg oil
2 eggs
1 c buttermilk (aka milk w lemon juice)
raisins, currants, or caraway seeds

Mix up all the dry stuff besides 1 c flour and raisins. Add eggs, oil, & buttermilk.

Knead in the last cup of flour on the previously cleaned kitchen counter. Then knead in the raisins or whatever.

Make the dough round and loafy & put it on a baking sheet. You can cut a cross in the top or you can not cut one.

Bake @ 325/350F for 1 hour, or until good.

Irish soda bread


noelle said...

I've been wanting to make Irish soda bread ever since I (this is going to sound so lame) watched Boardwalk Empire. Thx for sharing this recipe!

Anna @the shady pine said...

Irish soda bread is really lovely and I must say I just like it out of the oven with some butter....heaven! This looks fantastic!

Kat said...

I love the story behind this recipe. The bread looks so good, and I agree - fresh out of the oven, with some butter as it starts to melt from the still-warm soda bread, would be absolutely perfect.

Eileen said...

Boardwalk Empire is totally acceptable. :) And yes, this is by far best right out of the oven, with lots of butter. It's great sliced & thrown in the toaster oven as well--each piece comes out slightly damp on the inside, crunchy on the outside, and super fragrant.

eatme_delicious said...

I need to make some soda bread! This looks delicious.

Cathleen said...

Oh bread. You can never go wrong with bread, this looks delicious!