Happy Saint Patrick's Day! I have Irish Soda Bread for you in celebration.
And if you're planning a party, might I suggest some charming and delicious Spiced Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting?
Excuse the photos in that one. It's a two-thousand-niner...
Perhaps a steaming bowl of Irish Lamb Stew would hit the spot, accompanied by a frosty mug of Irish stout? Mopped up, of course, with a warm, buttered slice of currant-studded soda bread!
Soda bread is a quick bread, made with baking soda (hence the name) as the leavener rather than yeast. It is quite dense, but still tender (thanks to the buttermilk!). Caraway seeds are traditional, but if you're not a fan of their strong, aromatic flavour, you can leave them out. Omitting them leaves the bread open to sweet applications as well as savoury (read: warmed with butter and jam for breakfast!). I love herbal flavour, so I always include it.
May your weekend be filled with emerald face paint and green food colouring in your beer.
And Irish Setters that are irresistibly adorable even when filthy...
Irish Soda Bread
Recipe from Rogers Foods
4 1/4 cups Rogers All Purpose Flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp caraway seeds, optional
1 cup currants
2 cups buttermilk
1. In a large bowl, mix 4 cups of flour with the baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and caraway seeds. Add raisins and mix them in with fingers to make sure they are separated. Add buttermilk and mix with a fork until mixture forms a dough.
2. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup more flour on a board or counter, turn out dough and knead for about 5 minutes, working in the flour from the board and forming dough into a smooth, round loaf.
3. Grease a 9″ cake pan. Press loaf evenly into pan and cut a 1/2″ deep cross in the top. Bake 1 1/4 hours at 350°F or until bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove loaf to a wire rack and cool completely before slicing.