New Meal Monday: Mom's Irish Soda Bread

I think everyone can agree, that when it comes to holidays, there's a bit of a hierarchy.  Some differences are obvious, for example Thanksgiving and National Peanut Day, but even some more commonly known holidays are revered on different levels. For many, St. Patrick's Day is simply a time wear green, maybe drink a Guinness, and celebrate their Irish heritage (or in many cases...pretend they have Irish heritage).  However, in our family, St. Patrick's Day stands above most holidays.  Its a time to gather around the table with family and share a meal, and enjoy being with ones we love. (It's almost like a springtime Thanksgiving...).  My mother (who doesn't eat meat) prepares a boiled dinner that most of the family gets excited about, but everyone looks forward to my Mom's freshly baked Irish Soda Bread; one loaf is never enough!  So, in honor of the upcoming holiday, we figured we share one of the highlights of our holiday dinner!

What you'll need:

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • ¾ cups raisins

How you'll do it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.  Grease a baking sheet or an 8-inch round cake pan.  
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir and toss together the flour, salt, baking soda and raisins.
  3. Add the buttermilk and stir briskly with a fork until the dough holds together in a rough mass.  
  4. Knead on a lightly floured surface for about 30 seconds, then pat into a 8-inch round about 1 ½  inches thick.  With a sharp knife, slash a large ¼ inch-deep X across the top.  
  5. Place the formed dough on the prepared baking sheet or cake pan and bake for about 45-50 minutes, until it is nicely browned and the X has spread open.
  6. Transfer to a rack and cook, then wrap in a slightly damp towel and let rest, on the rack, until cooled.