Happy St. Patrick's Day! Though I am neither Irish nor Catholic, I have a fondness for corned beef, cabbage, and soda bread, so I make an Irish feast every year. We ate this meal while watching Once, and I didn't even realize when we picked it that it was perfect for the occasion.
My Irish soda bread sort of served as a dessert; it's not particularly sweet, but spread with some jam it's really lovely. My understanding about soda bread is that here in the states, we add sugar and raisins and make it a little sweet, and that is actually not how it is traditionally done in Ireland, but it is awfully tasty that way. The bulk of the leftovers made it into the office this morning and it got a good review from Kristen the Irish girl, so I'm pretty happy with that. Recipe after the jump:
IRISH SODA BREAD
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour
2 tsps baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
4 tbsp butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350. Sift together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in the butter until it is pea-sized. Add the raisins, then stir in the buttermilk. Once the dough starts to come together, turn it out onto a floured board and knead for about 1 minute until evenly mixed. Shape into a disk about 8 inches in diameter and place on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Cut a cross in the top of the dough. Bake for 45-50 minutes until golden brown. Serve with tart apple slices and cheddar cheese, or butter and jam.