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Bread and a Book

Reading and eating, baking, partaking -- these are the ingredients of life.  In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I ask that you partake of this honest-to-goodness, straight from the Old Country recipe (my Grandmother's own) for Irish Soda Bread.  Now, as it's a family secret, kept tidy and safe in a flour tin in the pantry, I'd also ask you to keep it to yourself ... along with a wee pat of butter. (I may be a Zuzulo now, but I'm a McDonnell born and bred and Kelly, of course, being my dear departed mother's family name).  Take the time to dig your fingers into this dough and you'll find that it's not only are your taste buds that are released.


3 tblsp. margarine or butter, softened
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tblsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp.baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup golden raisins
3/4 cups buttermilk

  • Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl
  • Cut softened butter into powder mixture until it resembles fine crumbs (again, fingers are best for the mixing)
  • Stir in raisins and enough buttermilk to make a soft dough
  • Turn onto lightly floured surface, knead until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes
  • Shape into round loaF, about 7 inches in diameter
  • Place on greased cookie sheet
  • Cut an X into the top of the loaf with a buttered knife
  • Bake in 375 degree oven until golden brown -- about 35 to 40 minutes
  • Remove from oven and brush with butter

    Cut a thick, warm slice, slather with butter, and get crumbs on your keyboard as you enjoy this manna of the Celtic Isle. 

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

2 Comment count
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Sounds delicious!

Thanks for this--it looks wonderful.


Jessica Barksdale Inclan www.jessicabarksdaleinclan.com

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Tasty and fun!

My pleasure, Jessica.  I find that I enjoy baking this bread almost as much as eating it.  There's nothing like kneading through a glutinous glob of dough until it becomes an elastic, velveteen loaf.  And there's none of the pressure of proofing the yeast ('cause there isn't any) and waiting and waiting for it to rise.  I do believe writers do enough waiting as it is. : >