Monday, March 17, 2008
Eileen's Irish Soda Bread
There's nothing that makes me homesick for Boston like St. Patrick's Day. Okay, that's not entirely true, there's also the Red Sox, snow, and anyone speaking without using the letter R, but St. Patrick's Day is easily top 5. I mean, how can the rest of the country compete with a city that made up a holiday in order to get St. Patrick's Day off. I'm not kidding. It's called Evacuation Day and it is a recognized government holiday, schools are closed, all that. Now, while I honestly believe that the best way to honor the holiday, particularly if homesick for Boston, is to get as drunk as possible (preferably off Guinness), I can acknowledge that for those of us who a)could not start drinking at 9am today or b)have to work tomorrow, this may not be a practical choice. I suggest instead that you drown your sorrows in Eileen's Irish Soda Bread. It's just about the best soda bread I've ever tasted and so easy you could probably manage it even if you were lucky enough to start drinking this morning.
EILEEN'S IRISH SODA BREAD
courtesy of Eileen (who I'm guessing is considerably more Irish than I am, and has no end of talent when it comes to the soda bread)
3 C unsifted flour
1/3 C sugar
3 tsp baking soda
1/4 C butter
1 1/4 C milk
1 C raisins (optional if you are anti-raisin)
Mix dry ingredients well. Cut in the butter. Mix in the raisins and add milk. With a fork, mix into a ball shape. With well floured hands knead 8-10 times. I often find the dough wet, so feel free to sprinkle a bit more flour while you're kneading. Put on a well greased cookie sheet, cut an x in the top, and bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes.