Saturday, March 17, 2012

Luck O' the Irish

In honour of St. Patrick's Day I made Irish soda bread. There are several reasons for this. The first is that I can't let St. Patrick's Day pass without doing the something. The second is that it's so so easy. I love fresh bread, but dealing with yeast is often annoying and finicky. Thus the beauty of Irish soda bread, which, as the name suggests, uses baking soda to rise. The third reason is that it's delicious. It has a beautiful, dense texture, and is perfect for sopping up the extra juice at the end of a bowl of stew.

Something about the flavour of it tastes like home. Probably because my mom always used to make it. You can find recipes for loaves that have nuts and berries and other added ingredients, but I prefer this version. It's simple, delicious, and you can eat it with just about anything.

Irish Soda Bread
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter
1 3/4 cups buttermilk

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Cut in the butter until any noticeable chunks are gone. Add buttermilk and mix until it forms a dough. Turn out onto clean surface and knead about ten times. Form into a round loaf and cut an 'x' into the top. Bake at 350F for one hour or until golden brown. Slice and enjoy!

So Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone! Make yourself some soda bread, have a pint of Guinness, and bask in the luck of the Irish for a day. And if you're feeling peckish for dessert, try the chocolate stout cupcakes from this post. They will not disappoint!

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