prep time: 15 minutes
cook time: 45-50 minutes
cleanup time: 10 minutes
time spent procrastibaking: ~ 75 minutes
Éirinn go brách, procrastibakers! it’s one of my favorite weeks– st. patrick’s week– and naturally, it’s gorgeous out. the sun is shining, the air is losing its wintery bite, and spring is just around the corner. and no one is as astutely aware of the nice weather as our cat, anna. every time i’m near the front door, she runs over, stands on her hind legs, and meows at me to try and go outside. all in due time, anna. going outside means putting on shoes, and non-pajama-like clothes, and i have to build up the energy to do all that.
the other tell-tale sign that it’s st. patrick’s week (yes, week, not DAY), is that i have the grocery list to prove it. corned beef, potatoes, cabbage, and naturally, irish soda bread. i could just pick up a loaf while at the store, but they’re never as perfect as you’d like– maybe no raisins, maybe too many caraway seeds, maybe too dense… i mean, if you ask me, there’s no such thing as bad irish soda bread, but i think i can do a better job on my own.
i’m not sure if either one of my irish grandmothers have a soda bread recipe, so mine’s just an amalgamation of “hmm, this seems like a good idea” and “this sounds right.” i think regardless of the turnout, they’re proud of me, but personally, i think we have a winner. note to my friends in ireland: this may not be traditional soda bread, but irish-american cuisine certainly has its place as well–so put on your shamrocks, procrastibakers, and let’s get goin!
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 8 oz raisins (may i suggest these ones, which i found in the baking aisle, designed especially for baking– they’re plumper and more moist than boxed raisins which is great! alternatively, you can soak your raisins in a bowl of water for 12 hours or overnight which will plumpen them back up. but this baggie is a great alternative if you can find it)
- liberal sprinkling of caraway seeds– i’d estimate probably 2 tablespoons
- 1 cup buttermilk (you can alternate one cup regular milk and one tablespoon lemon juice for the same effect! miraculous!)
- 1 egg (which, incidentally, i forgot to add in my recipe… and though my bread doesn’t clump so nicely when you slice it, still delicious)
- 1/4 cup buttermilk, set aside
- mixing bowl
- measuring cups
- baking sheet and non-stick spray
- large knife
step one. preheat your oven to 375, and grease a non-stick baking pan with pam or butter.