“Tomorrow was St. Patrick’s Day, I’m a layman now I don’t have to pray.”*
“There is no bread to be had equal to it for invigorating the body, promoting digestion, strengthening the stomach, and improving the state of the bowels.” -from an article in the Newry Telegraph, a N. Ireland newspaper, about 1836.
Irish soda bread is a bread born out of poverty. Flour? Got it. Baking soda? Salt? Got it. Buttermilk? Got it.” In this recipe I swap out half of the white flour for whole wheat flour. This is a little more “complicated” than many soda bread recipes that by their nature are as bare bones as you can get. I make no claims for it like those in the Newry Telegraph, but it is good. You could use this for a Leopold Bloom-style gorgonzola sandwich on Bloomsday (June 16th). Glass of burgundy is optional. “God made food, the devil the cooks.”
Irish Soda Bread
An easy recipe to make.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup brown sugar (either light or dark; dark will lend a molasses accent to the bread)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
¼ cup dried currants or raisins
1 ½ cups buttermilk
1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place all of the dry ingredients and the butter into the bowl of a stand
2. Empty the dough onto a clean, lightly floured surface and knead the dough together. Pat the dough out into a circle about 7” round. Lightly dust the top with flour. Cut a cross into the top of the loaf about ½ “ deep. Place the soda bread onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake the soda bread for 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool, slice and serve. Irish butter is optional.
*from Me and My Friend the Cat, Loudon Wainwright III