St Patricks Day has always been a fun holiday. Growing up I loved hiding my green and waiting to return the pinch. I think one of the reasons I love St Patrick’s Day the most is I know it is almost spring. Everything is starting to turn green, flowers are popping up, trees are in bloom. So I love a holiday that celebrates this green revival. My mom also made a ‘green dinner’ every year for St Patty’s Day. She’d make corned beef or a roast, potatoes, the whole spread, green salad, and her traditional green pistachio cupcakes. Since we weren’t able to be home for the dinner I decided I needed to keep somewhat of a tradition going and make something special. I decided on making Irish Soda Bread. I was inspired by this recipe here from Orson Gygi.
Irish Soda Bread is a sweet bread. It is super easy to make. It doesn’t have yeast so you don’t have to wait for it to rise and babysit. Simply mix it up and pop it in the oven. If you are nervous about making bread, or just want something easy to impress your family and friends, this is it! It is sweet and filled with orange and craisin goodness. About the only thing I can compare it to is a cornbread without the actual cornmeal. This bread was the perfect compliment to my ‘green dinner’ but it definitely is worthy of eating year round.
Yield: 1 loaf (2lbs)
Time: 10 minutes prep, 1 hour to bake
- 4 c flour
- 3 T sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp soda
- 3 T butter
- 1 c craisins or raisins
- 1 3/4 c milk
- 5 t lemon juice
- 1 egg, beaten
- zest from 1 orange
- Step 1
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a dutch oven or oven safe skillet.
In a large bowl combine, flour, sugar, salt, and soda. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter or two knives, until it resembles course crumbs. Stir in craisins.
In a seperate bowl combine milk and lemon juice, let sit for 5 minutes. This creates buttermilk. If you have 1 3/4 c butter milk in your fridge, feel free to use it instead. Beat in egg and zest from orange.
- Step 2
Make a well in your dry ingredients. Pour in liquid ingredients. Mix until all dry ingredients are incorporated. The dough should be sticky, and resemble muffin batter. Don’t overwork the dough, just mix until combined.
Transfer dough to prepared dutch oven or skillet. Run a serrated knife under warm water and cut an X into the top of the dough. Place a lid or foil over dough and bake at 375 for one hour or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Step 3
Allow bread to sit for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Serve warm. Bread can dry out quickly so store bread in saran wrap or a bag. Freeze for best long-term storage.