Irish Soda Bread.
You can buy it from so many places.
The supermarket, the bakery, heck, even your 24 hour convenience store may sell it,but it never is as good as when you bake it yourself.
It’s simple, inexpensive and trust me. You make it one time you will be hooked.
Not familiar with Irish Soda Bread?
The sugary top? The raisins? The “X” on top?
Many Irish soda bread recipes tell you that you need to make an “X” slashed into the top prior to baking.
According to history, there are a few reasons for this. Because Ireland is a primarily Catholic country, it may be in respect of the symbol of the cross and a blessing of the bread and giving thanks. It may also be to ward off the devil and to protect the household or most likely there is a more practical reason, like it allows the bread to stretch and expand as it rises. I also think that when you slash a cross into it you can easily divide the bread into breakable chunks.
I hope you enjoy making this as much as I do!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Let me know what you think and don’t forget to share the love!
and on Instagram @thefooduluv
- 4 1/2 cups flour
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 5 Tbsp butter
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 425°. Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and set on the set. Whisk together just 4 cups of flour (saving 1/2 cup), the sugar, salt, and baking soda into a large bowl.
- Fold the butter into the flour, sprinkle in the raisins and by using your fingers, massage the butter into the mixture until it looks like grainy oatmeal. Now gently mix in the raisins.
- Make a well in the middle of the dough, add buttermilk, egg, knead into dough: Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add a beaten egg and buttermilk and mix in manually with a spoon until dough is too stiff to stir.
- Coat your hands with some flour, then knead dough in the bowl until it forms a, not so perfect, soft ball. Keep in mind that if the dough is too sticky or gummy add a little more flour to it.
- Bring your dough to a lightly floured counter top, cutting board or clean surface for you to shape it into an almost round loaf.
- Mold the dough just until the flour is moist and the dough barely stays together.
- Transfer your dough to a large, lightly greased baking sheet or cast iron skillet.
- Take a serrated knife and make a cross or X mark on the top of dough about an inch and a half deep. Essentially scoring the dough will help heat get into the center of the dough while cooking.
- Into the oven it goes and bakes until the bread is nice and golden and the bottom of the loaf sounds almost hollow when tapped. This should take about 35-45 minutes. When it's time, the bread is golden brown stick a toothpick into it and if it comes out clean, your bread is ready.
- Let it cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the skillet or pan. Eat !!!!
- Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Check it after half an hour. If it is browning too fast, you can place a piece of foil on top of it.
- Tasty tip: Brush the loaf with butter half an hour into the baking process.
- You can also use currants instead of raisins if you like.
A home filled with amazing aromas, family, friends and food.
A holiday to be thankful for so many things, to give thanks to others and to relax…but not for the cook, unless you play your cards right.
As a foodie, I do love Thanksgiving, but not for the main course. The big bird.
God knows that I can get creative in planning, prepping and preparing the perfect poultry, (say that three times fast), but for me my true passion is in the appetizers and sides.
The turkey is and will always be the center of attention and it will always be the big boss and the star of the show, but do not forget that there are many players that need to come together to make a perfect performance.
Enter the perfect muffin.
I originally posted this 3 years ago and I decided to post it again, as it’s very special to me.
So, here you go! Enjoy.
This Easter was the first “Real” big Easter celebration for my little guy.
The last 3 year’s were nice but this year there was a build up in expectations. It was more than just a candy overload holiday. There was a deeper meaning behind it to him.
It was very special.
This year he went to church more often and had been reading more about the holidays and their importance to us as a family.
But, being more vocal, he also let us know about all the cool Easter treats that he wanted and didn’t let a day go by without telling us how nutritious and healthy jelly beans are for growing boys.
2 Peas in a Pod.
He also knows the importance of friendship, building close bonds and finding the dudes that share his love of animals, are sensitive, can handle the stress of multiple egg hunts and love sweets as much as he does.
After hours of rummaging through grass for brightly colored plastic eggs, getting your hopes built up that you are going to be “That” kid who finds the golden egg that carries an extra sticker or peanut butter cup, the kid wanted some real food and drink.
Not just cheap jelly beans.
Not just rock hard Jolly Ranchers.
Not just petrified taffy that was probably manufactured when Men at Work were being played on the radio.
Real food was about to be on the menu.
But………. not for the kid on the left.
He was in a chocolate state of mind and was boycotting anything that wasn’t multicolored or in the shape of a rabbit or chick.
Me: “Pal, I need inspiration! I blog about food. I get motivated, create a dish and take pictures. I can’t do that with candy.”
My Son: “You’re so smart Daddy. I’m sure you’ll think of something.”
So, what does any self-respecting parent do?
I went to mass…but was late. Very late. In fact they were closing up, so I just sat for a minute, said a prayer and meditated. And then all of a sudden I came up with a few things.
Nothing too significant. They were mostly just images of sweets. Sweets that I wasn’t going to bake and then all of a sudden it hit me.
St. Joseph’s Pastry.
The light poured on me like a celestial spotlight directing me to the bakery for these delicious, cannoli cream filled puffs of love.
Ok, it didn’t happen like that at all….I’m just grasping at straws here. It’s Easter. Cut me some slack.
St. Joseph’s pastry is essentially a larger version of a zeppole filled with cannoli cream.
Sounds horrible, right? Good…so go away and leave them for me.
He, ( St. Joe) is the patron saint of the family, and is celebrated at the Spring equinox and his day is a feast of bread.
Bread..pastry, it’s all in the same family so it’s celebrated. Who am I to argue with this logic?
At the end of the day I did end up having some delicious treats as well as a wonderful dinner, of “real” food, with my family.
Halibut, roasted cauliflower, antipasto, etc. More details on that coming up shortly.
I hope you and your family had a wonderful day and if it was anything like mine…make an appointment with the dentist for next week.
Only kidding. Keep the feelings and memories in your heart.
“This is the time to remember, cause it will not last forever. These are the days to hold on to cause we won’t although we’ll want to.” Billy Joel.
Psst…show me some love.
and on Instagram @ thefooduluv
Winter is finally here in New York.
I went outside this morning about 6 am and it was 11 degrees. When it’s 11 degrees it feels like 3 degrees, so I ran back into the house for the warmth of my coffee cup and laptop and to think about hot food and delicious treats.
Right now is prime baking season, so I’m joining the cool kids and turning up the freak switch to high.
Ok, I’m not that outrageous and there is no freak switch…just my oven that ..um..I’m turning up to high.
Enough with my failed attempts of culinary comedy and trying to fit in with the Millennials.
On with the show.
Oh yeah, St. Patrick’s Day is March 17th, and that can only mean one thing.
Getting drunk at 9 am?? No…….well, maybe..but it’s a “day for wearing of the green” and other kick-ass Irish traditions, like making Irish soda bread, watching the parade on tv, listening to Irish music and ..ok, perhaps getting drunk early in the morning.
Many of you don’t know that St. Patrick was not even born in Ireland, in fact..it is said that he may have been,,,ugh..don’t shoot the messenger, Italian. Yup.
Waiter…extra whiskey in my coffee please.
So before you start drinking green beer and dancing with strangers make sure that you gather up all of your ingredients and ready to have the most delicious corned beef and cabbage that you have ever had.