Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Erin Go Bragh!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

One of our favorite parts about this cultural holiday is not just the New London Parade ( 1 PM on State Street), but all of the delicious food that comes along with the 17th of March. Not to be forgotten is Irish Soda Bread. Not only does it compliment the Corn Beef and Cabbage, but it's great as French Toast and sandwich bread the days following the holiday.

To make sure that you have a delicious accompaniment to your meal today, Jeanette has shared with us her Grandmother's recipe, straight from Ireland.

Barbara's Irish Soda Bread

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons solid shortening
2/3 cup golden raisins
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1 1/2 cup buttermilk

1 egg
1 teaspoon heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and sugar. Using a pastry blender (or fingertips), work the shortening into the flour until the consistency is the same as that of small peas. Stir in the raisins and caraway seeds. Gradually stir in the buttermilk, using only enough to allow the dough to come together. Knead the dough for 1 to 2 minutes.

Shape the dough into a round loaf and place on a greased baking sheet. Cut an X at the top of the loaf. Mix the egg and heavy cream together to create a wash. Brush mixture on top of loaf enough to coat it.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped.

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