The recipes on this blog are a combination of things I've learned over the years and meals inherited through generations of adoration for good food. They are a cherished property, so please be good to them.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Irish Soda Bread

My grandmother came over from County Leitrim, Ireland in the 1940's and with her came all of her Irish culture and heritage. One of the many things she was great at was cooking and baking.

In Ireland my family has at least 2-3 loaves of soda bread (and often a hearty, rustic brown bread) at any given time. When visitors stop in unexpectedly (as they often do in small Irish towns) or when the men come in from working in the fields and bogs, soda bread and a nice cup of strong Irish tea is all you need.

Mary's Irish Soda Bread
4 c flour
1/4 c sugar
1 tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 c margarine or pure Irish butter
2 c dark raisins (you could also do a mix using 1 c currants)
1 egg beaten
1 1/2 c buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375*

Blend flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Cut in margarine or butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add raisins, buttermilk and egg and stir until blended. Knead on a floured board until smooth (don't be shy with the flour...the dough can be very sticky) about 1 minute. Shape dough into two even balls. You can flatten them into 2, 8" round cake pans or, do as I do, and place loaves directly on a cookie sheet (make sure you do flatten them some to resemble a circular loaf). Cut a deep cross in the top of the loaf. Bake for about 40 minutes or until lightly brown. **Cooks note: The bread is done when it sounds hollow when lightly tapped on top of the loaf. **

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