Archive | March, 2012

Irish Soda Bread and Putting Off Procrastination

16 Mar

This post was supposed to be about procrastination….but I’ve decided to write about that later. 

I know. I love me some irony.

I have a good reason, though, for putting off today’s intended post. Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, and I wanted to share my tried-and-true Irish Soda Bread Recipe. It is fool-proof easy and I will be making it today as I avoid the rain and attempt to clean up the house. We have Company arriving tonight, so this is not a drill. The difference between visiting relatives and Company? Relatives know exactly how messy you are and are pleasantly surprised when your home reflects something different. With Company, you clean with the foolish hope of tricking them into thinking that you’re better than you are.

Personally, I think that true love means never having to pretend to be something you’re not….and my family just happens to not be organized. This might just be my fear talking, though. I’m terrified that the visiting Company will open the closets or look under the beds. As you know from my 5 Stages of Cleaning, that would not end well.

Anyway, let’s get on with the show–Irish Soda Bread. I love raisin bread and I love Irish Soda Bread for its denseness. It’s one of my comfort foods, really, and it helps that it’s so easy to make. I first saw this recipe in Marin Magazine–see the original recipe here. I think I will be skipping the caraway seeds when I make this bread today, but I have used them in the past.

Joan’s Irish Soda Bread

Makes one large loaf or two medium (four cup) loaves.

Note: For the most tender texture, don’t overmix the batter–combine the dry and wet ingredients just until there is no dry flour left. For all you Catholics (fallen and otherwise), Joan suggests mixing only as long as it takes to say an “Our Father,” a “Hail Mary,” and a “Glory Be.” As for my own suggestions: for the best results, listen to this and this while baking. 

3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
2 tablespoons canola oil or other vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups raisins

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two medium (four-cup) loaf pans. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk the buttermilk, eggs, caraway seeds, and oil together in a medium bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients, and sprinkle the raisins over. Sweeping your whisk thoroughly over the bottom of the bowl, mix the batter only until uniform; do not over-mix. Scrape into the prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the soda bread rest in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn onto a rack to cool.

Happy Baking! Check back soon for my thoughts on procrastination and life as an ostrich. Yeah, that’s right.