Irish Soda Bread ~ Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Irish Soda Bread

Let me share with you how I learned to make Irish Soda Bread.   True story ~ 15 years ago I fell in love with an Irishman, who lived in Boston.  So, I moved from my home in the Rocky Mountains & headed east.  The dating/engagement lasted almost a year.  During that time I came up with a wonderful Irish Soda Bread recipe & I often made it for us.  He gave it an enthusiastic two thumbs up, as did just about everyone else who ate it.  We eventually broke up & I headed back out west ~ a whole lot wiser & much better at Irish cooking. 

I can honestly say, creating my own Irish Soda Bread recipe was the best thing that I got out of that relationship.  :)   So, here is my recipe that I continue to make every year around
March 17th, for my family's St. Patrick's Day meal.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Vicki's Irish Soda Bread
makes 1 round loaf ~ recipe can be doubled

2 cups           flour
1/4 cup         sugar
1 tbsp            baking powder
1/2 tsp           salt
1/4 tsp           baking soda

1 cup             raisins
                      (all one kind or a mix or dark/gold raisins & currants)

2 tbsp            unsalted butter, melted 

1 cup             buttermilk
1                    egg
1 tsp              vanilla extract

 ~                   Pam cooking spray or shortening, for greasing pie plate

~                    glass pie plate, well greased/sprayed with Pam

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

1)    mix first 5 dry ingredients together, in a large bowl

2)    use small amount of flour mixture to coat the raisins thoroughly

3)    add flour coated raisins to the bowl of dry ingredients & toss all together

4)    in separate bowl mix the buttermilk, vanilla extract & egg,~ beat
       together lightly

5)    make a well in the center of the dry flour mixture & add the melted
        butter in the center of the flour/raisin mixture

6)    blend in the buttermilk mixture, a 1/2 cup at a time, to the flour/butter
        mixture until all is blended together nicely ~  do not over mix

7)    let the dough rest for 5 minutes, then turn into the pie plate
8)    push any raisins are poking up out of the dough, back down, so they
       are inside the dough (otherwise they might burn while cooking)

9)    cut a shallow 'X' into the top of the loaves with a sharp knife
       (you might have to pull back the dough a bit to get the 'X' to get
         it to keep it's shape)

10)  bake for 40 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean & the top
        starts to turn golden

11)  turn out onto a cooling rack & cover with a tea towel for one hour

12)  remove the tea towel & let cool for another hour, uncovered

13)  store overnight in a air tight container ~ serve at room temperature,
        with butter

This bread is best after the first day, so make it the day before you want to serve it.  Irish Soda Bread is not meant to be served warm, (like cornbread) it is meant to be served at room temperature.  Enjoy with your St. Patrick's Day dinner & any leftovers the next morning, with tea or coffee. 

~ Happy St. Patrick's Day! ~

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