All my life I’ve celebrated St. Patrick’s Day hard. You know, lots of green flair, corned beef and cabbage dinners, Irish soda bread, green beer, and legit pinching of people who have the audacity not to wear green on the day of my people. Green eyes do not count, ya’ll! I know! I have them.
My first little red haired cherub-elfin looking daughter was born on St. Patrick’s Day. Of course, now, three kids later, St. Patrick’s Day has taken on a different sort of celebration. Gone for now are the days of Irish pubs with karaoke and green beer, and in it’s place is the setting of leprechaun traps, creating tiny green footprints and leaving gold coins where he managed to escape, hunting through the clover in the yard for leprechauns, and Red Robin for dinner on St. Patrick’s Day.
Yes, Red Robin. My daughter’s usual birthday dinner of choice.
No matter, I refuse to give up my traditional St. Patrick’s Day dinner. So we just have it a little earlier. And no Irish dinner is complete without traditional Irish Soda Bread. This recipe bakes up into such a beautiful loaf that you won’t be able to believe it isn’t an artisan yeast bread. In fact, it looks so very similar to the wonderful Artisan bread that I make to go with soup when we have it for dinner, but that bread needs to rise and proof overnight. Not this one. Just mix, throw into a dutch oven or covered pan, and bam.
Delicious, crusty bread that proves that sometimes, the things that come from a poor country with only the most basic ingredients are sometimes the best.
Sweet, delicious simplicity. You can leave out the sugar and raisins for a more savory bread.
Recipe adapted from Let’s Dish
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
1 cup golden raisins
Preheat the oven to 425°. Grease and flour an oven safe pan with a lid, at least 9 inches across. I use a dutch oven and line the bottom with parchment. Any oven safe pan with a lid will do.
Mix together your flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Slowly pour in the buttermilk and mix until just incorporated. Add the raisins and turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead just once or twice until it is shaped into a nice, round loaf and place in prepared pan. Use a knife to make an X across the top.
Put the lid on your dutch oven and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake for 10 more minutes so the top can get golden and crusty.
Serve warm and enjoy.