Apron Free Cooking ~ Irish Soda Bread
By Noel Lizotte
St. Patrick’s day is coming! March 17th is a few short days away. My kids have always been great fans of St. Patrick’s. They have Irish heritage on their dad’s side, as well as a bit of Irish temper themselves, so I suppose it’s a natural thing to enjoy celebrating St. Patrick’s day.
When they were in elementary school, it was easy to celebrate. They would wear green clothes to school, to make sure they didn’t get pinched. Although, I’m pretty sure pinching is not allowed in schools. The idea that wearing a green item could protect them was enough incentive to dig through closets looking for a special piece of clothing. You know, I’m not sure why kids don’t think about these things ahead of time. But it was always a last minute panic and rush.
It only took me a couple of years to figure out we could avoid the panic. I started a tradition of having a gift on the breakfast table for each child. The gift bag usually contained a green t-shirt or pair of socks along with some chocolate goody. The local bakery has made cupcakes with green icing and a plastic shamrock ring decoration… those were popular with my kids!
Once the kids started getting older they wanted to try eating Irish food. Since this part of the country is highly German in descent, it was tough to find some genuine Irish cuisine. I’ve started a search for some recipes that we could make at home with only a little effort.
One of the first recipes we tried was for Irish Soda Bread. This is easy and tasty bread. It tastes best when eaten warm from the oven with butter and a cup of tea.
Irish Soda Bread
6 cups flour
¼ Tb baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 cup butter milk or sour milk
Preheat oven to 200 C / 400 F / Gas 6. Mix all the dry ingredients in a basin and make a well in the centre. Stir in the milk vigorously, if necessary add more milk, but the mixture should not be too thin. On a floured board, flatten the dough into a circle approximately 4 cm (1 1/2 in) thick. With a floured knife make a cross in the dough. Place the baking sheet into the preheated oven for approximately 40 minutes.
Approximate Nutritional Values: Servings 12. Amount Per Serving: Calories: 228, Total Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 1027mg, Total Carbs: 47g, Dietary Fiber: 2g, Protein: 7g.
Make it a meal: Serve with your favorite coffee or tea. If you’re looking for some extra sweetness, you might drizzle your toasted bread with some honey. Raisins are often added to soda bread, you could mix them in before baking the bread.
This recipe was originally printed in a cookbook titled: British and Irish Cooking by author Tony Schnaeling. There are a few versions of the recipe to be found on the Internet and in cookbooks. I prefer this one for its simplicity.
Noel Lizotte is breaking free of corporate stress with convenience cooking! www.apronfreecooking.com.