I’ve been doing a little bit of diving into my family tree recently. It is a truly fascinating journey (especially for someone who is such a mutt like me). I’ve been taken down all kinds of ancestral paths, but one of my the more fun ones is the exploration of some of my Irish roots.
I haven’t done the math, but I’d say I’m about 00.01% Irish. And on St. Patrick’s Day, that’s all you need!
St. Patrick’s Day is even more special for me and Babyface! We were married on St. Patrick’s Day in 2007, so tomorrow is our 4th wedding anniversary. It certainly makes it easy to never forget our anniversary.
We have fun plans for this weekend to celebrate our 4 years of wedded bliss, but tomorrow we’re going to celebrate our Irish ancestry (regardless of how small).
We’re making Dublin Coddle with a side of Guinness, but it wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s Day without soda bread.
It seems that pretty much everyone has their favorite soda bread recipe. From my bit of research, it seems that traditional soda bread is very, very plain. But my favorite version has raisins and caraway seeds. Leave them out, put them in, whatever makes you happy.
I just adore the way soda bread looks. Rustic, craggy, browned. I’d imagine it doesn’t look all that different from how it looked hundreds of years ago.
Oh yeah, and it is delicious! Crispy and crunchy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside with a tang from the baking soda, sweetness from the raisins and crunchy, rye flavor from the caraway seeds.
Irish Soda Bread
Adapted from Simply Recipes
4 cups flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 tbsp. butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup raisins
1 tbsp. caraway seeds
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425°. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Using a pastry mixer or fork, cut butter into the flour mixture until well-incorporated. Stir in raisins and caraway seeds. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture, add egg and buttermilk to the well. Using a wooden spoon, mix until it becomes too hard to mix with the spoon. Dust hands with flour and finish mixing the dough and form into a round loaf. Do not overmix! The dough doesn’t need to be perfect, but if you overwork it, it’ll end up tough. Place the dough into a greased cast iron Dutch oven or skillet. Using a serrated knife, cut 1-2″ deep in a crosshatch fashion (this allows heat to penetrate through the dough). Bake for 35-40 minutes or until top is browned and bread sounds hollow when the bottom is tapped. If top gets too brown too quickly, cover with aluminum foil while the bread finishes off.