Friday, March 16, 2012

VPR Cooks: Irish Soda Bread

One of the best days of the year at VPR is Saint Patrick’s Day (or the day before, in this case!). That's because Jean Murphy, who manages our sustaining membership program always makes her grandmother-in-law's famous Irish soda bread for everyone at the office.

Jean says, "this soda bread recipe came from my husband's grandmother, Nellie Murphy of Dingle, Co. Kerry. She used to make about
20 loaves every St. Patrick's Day for all her dear ones. Mine is never as good as hers, but I still make it every year."

We find that hard to believe - Jean's bread is truly wonderful, especially toasted with butter.

Also, don't miss this morning's commentary by Deborah Doyle-Schechtman on Saint Patrick's Day myths. My new favorite Irish expression is "never bolt the door with a boiled carrot." Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh (Happy Saint Patrick's Day)!

Jean Murphy's Irish Soda Bread

4 cups flour
1 cup raisins
2 tablespoons caraway seed
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon water

In a large bowl, combine flour, raisins, caraway seed, sugar, baking powder and salt. In separate bowl, beat eggs with buttermilk and melted butter, then stir in cream of tartar and baking soda dissolved in water. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well. Add more buttermilk if mixture is too dry - dough should be wet and sticky. Put in buttered, floured 9-inch baking dish and pat into round (you may want to flour your hands). Make a cross on top of the bread. Bake 40-60 minutes at 350 until golden brown.

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