Happy St Patrick’s Day

The best way to celebrate St Patrick’s Day is with some fresh Irish Soda Bread.
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A nice golden crust and a tender center makes a perfect loaf.

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Here’s our favorite Irish Soda Bread recipe:

Irish Soda Bread

4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt (can reduce to 1/2 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons caraway seeds, optional
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 cups raisins
1 1/3 cups buttermilk or sour milk*
1 egg, unbeaten
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 beaten egg yolk, optional

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Grease a baking sheet.  In a large mixing bowl stir together flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.  Stir in caraway seed, if desired.  With a pastry blender, cut in butter until a coarse meal consistency.  Stir in raisins.  Combine buttermilk, egg, and baking soda.  Stir into flour mixture, just until moistened (don’t over mix).

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly (handle as little as possible).  Shape into a flattened ball onto the baking sheet.  Brush with beaten egg yolk, if desired.  Bake 50 minutes to an hour.  Cool 10 minutes, remove and cool before slicing.

Great served warm with fresh butter.  Recipe can be doubled to make 2 loaves.  Irish Soda Bread freezes well for several months, if it lasts that long.

*To make sour milk: in a 2 cup measuring cup add 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vinegar and enough milk to make 1 1/3 cups and let sit for 5 minutes.

Enjoy.  Happy St Patrick’s Day!

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