Monday, March 4, 2013

Irish Soda Bread

I'm divulging a McGee family recipe today that I think you will really enjoy.  With St. Patrick's Day coming up, it's always nice to enjoy a sweet treat in between all that corned beef, cabbage, potato, and green beer.  Irish Soda bread is a good breakfast treat, or something for the end of the day.

The keys to amazing Irish Soda Bread.
Ingredients:

(Dry)
Mixing the dry ingredients.
 - 3 cups unsifted flour
 - 1 tsp. baking soda
 - 1 tsp. baking powder
 - 2/3 cup sugar
 - 1 tsp. salt
 - 1 1/2 cups raisins

(Wet)
 - 2 Tbsp. melted shortning (or unsalted butter)
 - 2 eggs, whipped
 - 2 cups buttermilk (if you don't have buttermilk, or can't find it, here is a substitute.  Make enough to substitute 2 cups.)

Buttermilk.
Steps:
1. Remove all refrigerated ingredients to allow them to come to room temperature.
2. Preset oven for 350 degrees F.
3. Mix dry ingredients together.
4. One at a time, mix wet ingredients into dry mixture.
5. Grease your dish.  I use dark brown glass dishes; one is a loaf pan and the other is an 8" x 8" dark brown glass dish.  They seem to use the batter perfectly.  My mother uses small aluminium or metal loaf pans to give the bread as gifts. A single recipe makes about 4 small (5" x 3") loaves, while a double recipe makes about 9.  Fill the container about 2/3 full.  They will get bigger, so don't overfill!
6. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.  Check with a toothpick to ensure the bread is cooked through. (If you are using smaller containers, cook for about 35 minutes).

You're done!  I enjoy Irish soda bread with the smallest amount of unsalted butter.  It's what my grandma used to put on top, so its nostalgic.

Happy (early) St. Patrick's Day!