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Not Just for St. Patrick’s Day

This bread is a requirement for St. Patrick’s day at our house.  No argument there.  However, it is too yummy to make just once a year.  I have been baking this bread for more years than I can remember.   The delicious smell that wafted from the oven brought the kids and husband on the run.  The kids are grown but my husband can’t resist this treat.  It’s best served warm and actually doesn’t need butter because it is moist all by itself.  Yes, there is some butter and and low fat buttermilk in the recipe.  However, it makes two good-sized loaves, so a piece or two will warm your heart (even if you are not Irish) and not add much fat to your diet.   Homemade bread has no additives as does store-bought bread.  Give a loaf to a friend, who will delight in munching on this treat.  It’s easy to make (no yeast) and takes just a little time to do.  If there are any left-overs, it makes great toast the next day.  If you haven’t tried dry buttermilk, pick some up for this recipe.  You will not end up wasting the liquid kind that is left over. Try it and let me know what you think!

Irish Soda Bread

4 C. flour

1/3 C. sugar

1 Tbl. baking powder

3/4 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

6 Tbl. butter, cold

1  1/4 C. raisins (if on the dry side and hard, soak in water a little while and drain)

1  1/2 tsp. caraway seed

2 eggs

1 1/2 C. low fat buttermilk ( I use dry because I never waste any – just follow directions on container)

  1.  Combine dry ingredients (dry buttermilk, if using)
  2. Cut in butter.
  3. Stir in raisins and caraway.
  4. Beat eggs and 1  1/2 C. water (or reg. buttermilk)
  5. Stir into dry ingredients just till moistened.
  6. Knead one minute on floured surface till it holds together.
  7. Cut in half with a sharp knife.
  8. Grease two cake pans.  Pat down dough in each pan till flat but not touching edges.
  9. Cut large crosses in each with a sharp knife, 1/2″ deep.
  10. Bake 375° 35 – 40 mins.  Remove from pans and let cool on a cake rack.

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