We are celebrating our Irish roots this week!
Sure, Adriano and I are of Italian descent, but our sister Rose lives in Ireland so we like to think that makes us a wee bit Irish. Of course, on St. Patrick’s Day, isn’t everyone Irish?
There are so many things I love about Ireland, but at the top of the list are bread and butter. A slice of warm, soft, traditional soda bread slathered with fresh, creamy, Irish butter is a daily treat whenever I’m visiting the Emerald Isle.
A quick and easy bread to make, it only requires a few minutes of prep time and about 45 minutes of baking. It’s best eaten the day it’s made, warm and fresh baked with a good slathering of butter and jam.
Irish Soda Bread
Adapted from Irish Traditional Cooking, Darina Allen
- 3 ½ cups unbleached white flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 ¾ – 2 cups of buttermilk
Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl.
Make a well in the centre. Pour in 1 ¾ cups of buttermilk (if you find the dough is too dry, add the remaining buttermilk).
Using your fingers, in a full circular motion, draw the flour in to the centre from the outside of the bowl. The dough should be soft, not too sticky and wet. When it comes together turn it out on to a well-floured work surface.
Knead the dough a few times. Pat the dough into a round, about 1 1/2inches deep. Cut a deep cross on the top of the loaf and pinch in the four corners (according to Irish folklore this is to let the fairies out!)
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 475F then turn it down to 400F and bake for 30 minutes until cooked. If you are in doubt, tap the bottom of the loaf and if it sounds hollow, it’s done.
Serve a slice with butter and your favourite jam alongside a hot cup of tea.