We have celebrated St. Patrick’s day as far back as I can remember. Fond memories of parades, wearing something green and baking fun green foods for the kids. Our family is all grown up now, but that doesn’t stop us from enjoying foods with an Irish American theme every year when St. Paddy’s day rolls around. Traditionally, Irish soda bread is made with only four basic ingredients – flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk. The slightly sweeter and richer American version we’ve adopted is a family favorite and a snap to make.
In addition to the basic four ingredients, this recipe includes butter, a little sugar, an egg and currants for just a touch of sweetness.
After ‘cutting in’ the butter into the dry ingredients, it should be the size of small pebbles. This step can also be done by hand with a pastry cutter.
Lightly beat the buttermilk and eggs together with a whisk or fork. I love using buttermilk for it’s tangy flavor and the added body it gives to baked goods.
Coating the currants with a little flour before adding them to the wet ingredients helps to keep them evenly distributed throughout the dough while baking.
Thin patches of flour and it’s slightly uneven shape adds to its rustic quality.
Using a sharp knife, gently slice the traditional X across the top of the loaf. It should be about one inch deep and two inches from the out edges. Now place the skillet in the preheated oven.
Simplicity at its best!
A slice of freshly baked bread is always a good day in the kitchen.