Thursday, March 18, 2010

Irish Soda Bread

I had never really heard of Irish soda bread until I became acquainted with the McLafferty family. Sean's mom always made it for St. Patrick's Day and passed her recipe onto me a few years ago. I started making it each St. Patrick's Day along with our corned beef dinner. We did confirm that corned beef dinner is not necessarily a traditional meal in Ireland for St. Patrick's Day (or any other day for that matter). They usually have a sort of boiled dinner with ham and vegetables. However, we love corned beef (and especially love the reuben sandwiches that follow) so we make it each year. I reviewed several different recipes for soda bread and tried a different one this year which has the same ingredients, but different measurements. The key ingredients are baking soda (given the name) which provides the leavening for the bread along with baking powder and raisins. I always use Sunmaid baking raisins, which I also use for my scones. Most soda bread recipes also call for including carraway seeds, but I really don't like the taste of them so I choose to leave them out.

Here is my dough that I've kneaded and formed into a round. I usually bake it on a baking stone that I grease with butter.

I melted butter to brush on top of the bread and score it with an X that allows it a natural place to crack when it bakes and also makes it easy to cut after baking.

This was how much had been eaten before we even sat down for our corned beef dinner. It was a hit, especially with Audrey. This morning, we enjoyed some leftover bread with strawberry jam.

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