After perfecting crock pot glazed corned beef for our St. Patrick's Day meal, my husband set off to conquer Irish Soda Bread. He saw a few chefs make it on cooking shows, but found that these celebrity's recipes were exactly the same as the one listed in the Betty Crocker Cookbook that we got as a wedding gift. It turns out that Irish Soda Bread is quite similar to a big biscuit. It requires basic pantry ingredients and everyday baking techniques.
One year my husband made six extra loaves of Irish Soda Bread and delivered them to our friends and neighbors on St. Patrick's Day. Another year he made two more loaves and took them to our son's class. After reading a few Irish folktales and playing "Danny Boy" on the tin whistle for the second graders, he passed out hunks of Irish Soda bread slathered with Irish butter and strawberry jam.
Now my children look forward to the Irish Soda Bread more than they do to the corned beef. This bread is a rustic companion for our St. Patrick's Day meal. It gets a nice tang from the buttermilk and is best eaten on the day on which it is baked either warm or at room temperature. Leftovers are great toasted for breakfast. Our St. Patrick's Day is not complete without a loaf or two or three of my husband's Irish Soda Bread. Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Irish Soda Bread
adapted from Betty Crocker's Cookbook
3 Tablespoons butter, softened
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
- Heat over to 375 degrees.
- Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- Cut in butter with a pastry blender unitl mixture resembles fine crumbs.
- Stir in just enough buttermilk so dough leaves side of bowl.
- Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Gently knead until smooth, about 1 minute.
- Shape dough into a round about 6 1/2 inches in diameter. Place on a baking stone or greased cookie sheet. Cut an X about 1/2 inch deep through loaf with a floured knife.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown.
- Brush with softened butter right after removing from oven.
- Serve with good Irish butter and jam.