My sister is getting married!!!
The wedding is on St. Patrick’s Day and she asked me if I would like to make Irish Soda Bread for the reception. Of course, I said YES – I love baking bread and to make it for my sister’s wedding makes it all the more special.
So, I set out on a quest to make the perfect loaf of Irish soda bread. I had some help from friends – thank you, Elaine! I also had some help from my mom, who provided me with a good recipe. Thanks, Mom!
And, I had the opportunity to visit with a friend who lived in Ireland for 10 years. She invited me over and we baked up a lovely loaf of true Irish soda bread! Much different from the American version! Thank you, Joanne!
That means I have two recipes to share with you today. One from my mom, and the other from my friend Joanne.
Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread (Mom’s recipe)
1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon butter, melted
Grease cookie sheet well. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add buttermilk and mix until moistened. Turn out dough on well-floured surface. Knead gently until smooth, about 1 minute. Shape dough into ball and flatten into 7-inch circle, about 1 1/2 inches thick.
Press large floured knife into center of loaf, almost through to bottom. Repeat to divide loaf in quarters.
Bake 35-40 minutes in a 375 degree oven or until loaf is golden and sounds hollow when tapped. Remove to wire rack and brush top of loaf with melted butter.
Mix dry ingredients together and add buttermilk. Mix until incorporated and turn out onto floured surface. Knead for 1 minute. Place loaf on greased baking pan. Flatten slightly with hands and press dough into a circle.
Cut through dough with knife as instructed above, nearly through to bottom and all the way across. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 25 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 15 minutes more.
After removing bread from oven, immediately wrap loaf in a tea towel until cool.
One important lesson I learned from Joanne was to really make deep cuts in the bread – nearly all the way through – before putting it in the oven. Good to know. And, with more whole wheat flour in the recipe, the Irish recipe yields a loaf of bread that is more golden brown.
Joanne also explained the reason for putting the bread in a tea towel as soon as it comes out of the oven. This is done to keep the crust from becoming too hard. What a great idea!
So, for the past month, I’ve made a loaf of bread here and a loaf of bread there, and now I have 10 loaves that I will be taking with me this weekend to the wedding. Honestly, I think I am going to miss making it! Oh, and eating it too.
It means a lot to me that my sister asked me to make bread for her wedding. At the reception, my husband will lead everyone in a blessing of the bread. I pray that my sister and her new husband will be truly blessed with many years of happiness, love and joy!
Until next time,