Monday, March 16, 2009

Kathleen's Irish Soda Bread Recipe

The story goes that good Irish cooks never measure, so when I took down this recipe at Kathleen's table some twenty-five years ago (on the back of an envelope), I was given that disclaimer. It took me many a try to get it all straight. 

Irish Soda Bread: Preheat the oven to 375*

Sift together: 
2 1/2 C flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 "generous" tsp. baking powder
("a bit of salt") 1 tsp.
"a few" spoons of sugar (3-4)

Cut 3 tbsp. of softened buttered into the dry mix.
Add 3 tsp. caraway seeds
1 egg
1 C buttermilk
1/2 box of raisins ("In good times, I always add more!")

Roll out onto a lightly floured bread board and knead for just a few minutes. Shape and cut with the "sign of the cross" using a sharp knife. ("Always remember to say a small prayer.")

Bake for 45 mins. Serve with a generous amount of butter, and a good hot cup of tea!
I make two loaves at a time and bake them on a greased cookie sheet.

(Be sure to read the story below for a bit more of the backstory on this recipe.)

My thanks to Mrs. Vokes for all the wonderful loaves that were dropped off on our doorway. We never caught you! You were a true Irish rascal!


Smileyblueyes said...

I find it bakes best, in a cast Iron skillet....and if you brush the surface with buttermilk before putting in the oven, you will have a shiny crust.

gael lynch said...

Thanks for the tip. My mom's cast iron skillet did get a work out, so I'm sure that was one of its uses!
Happy St. Pat's, Smileyblueyes!

George Stockwell said...

Top o' the mornin' to ya, blondie.
My mother used to make Iris Soda bread every year. Thanks for the recipe (and the great story that went along with it). I'll give it a try.

gael lynch said...

Made some for my tribe of 48 today. They loved it! Quite a day!! I'm ready for bed...oh? It's not quite 6?

Smileyblueyes said...

Happy St Patty's Day!........You'all keep weird hours!
George: 3:47 AM? and Gael, you want to go to bed at 6PM? Holy Hannah! I never heard of leprechauns having these kind of hours, unless.............they had been celebrating - or something. :)

George Stockwell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
George Stockwell said...

Funny, I never noticed the time of post before. 3:47 A.M. is definitely way off the mark, in fact, it's just about 3 hrs off. Maybe the servers these posts go to are in California?? As for a 6 P.M. bed time, there have been many days when I could have happily crawled into bed, pulled the covers over my head and let the sandman take over!

Jame said...

Gael, my soda bread doppleganger, you're the real deal. No one knows where our soda bread recipe came from, certainly not from my grandmother who never saved anything older than this morning's newspaper (secrets, you know! didn't want a paper trail) or her mother who came over with just the clothes on her back---I doubt she'd tasted bread coated with ice cream!

gael lynch said...

I love the idea of icecream in soda bread, Jame! You're my kind of girl, that's for sure! In fact...I'm going to the freezer right this minute!

shivsa said...

Banana Bread Recipe
good site....visits it