That being the case, we spent a portion of the weekend in search of the perfect Irish soda bread and are pleased to report that we found a true winner at a ShopRite in Lakewood of all places. Bagels, you’d expect. Terrific soda bread came as a surprise.
It was tasty, a bit on the moist side and handled heaps of butter well and was enjoyed by everyone who sampled it.
This got staff here to thinking, wouldn’t it be fun to have a St. Patrick’s Day Soda Bread recipe exchange in the manner of December’s Christmas Cookie Exchange. If you have a recipe you’d like to share, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s two to get the exchange off to a good start. These came from one of my favorite parish cookbooks “Breaking Bread” a lovely commemorative of Holy Cross Parish, Rumson.
Mary Santry’s Irish Soda Bread
Ingredients: 6 cups flour; 1/2 cup sugar; 2 tablespoons salt; 2 tablespoons baking powder; 2 tablespoons baking soda; 1/2 cup softened butter; 4 tablespoons caraway seeds (optional); 2 cups raisins; 2 well beaten eggs; 3 1/2 cups buttermilk.
Directions: preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease and flour 4 pie tins. In a big mixing bowl, sift the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add butter, caraway seeds and raisins. Stirring quickly, add eggs and buttermilk. Mound in the pie tins. Brush the top with left-over buttermilk. Bake 25-30 minutes
Celine Mason’s Irish Soda Bread
Ingredients: 3 cups all-purpose flour; 1/4 cup granulated sugar; 3 tablespoons baking soda; 1 teaspoon salt; 1 1/2 cups buttermilk; 1/4 cup softened butter; 1 large egg, beaten; 2 tablespoons caraway seeds; 1 cup raisins.
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a larage bowl, mix dry ingredients, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the buttermilk, butter and egg. Mix well. Mix in caraway seeds and raisins. Divide dough into 2 pieces; place each in a greased 9 inch pie pan. Cut a cross on the top of each loaf (to let the devil out!) Bake until brown, 30-40 minutes; slice when cool.