I am Irish. I have lots of memories of gathering at my Nana's house for big St. Patrick's day celebrations. The trouble is, I don't love corned beef and cabbage. In an attempt to carry on my grandmother's traditions I had to find something I could make to commemorate this green holiday. I'm a scone lover and find that Irish soda bread has a similar appeal.
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins, golden raisins or combination of both
1/2 cup margarine, softened
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup buttermilk
This recipe was adapted from an Allrecipes.com version. I find that this site is a great place to search for new recipe ideas.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder,and salt. Cut in margarine using a pastry cutter. I might typically use a food processor for this job but we have a huge bowl of ingredients here. I don't think it would all fit.
Add raisins and mix to combine. Stir in 1 cup of buttermilk and egg. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly.
While the original recipe suggests you form dough into a single round and place on prepared baking sheet, I found that it was hard to get the loaf cooked through without burning the outside. I like to form two smaller rounds and complete the steps from here.
In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush loaves with this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an 'X' into the top of the loaves.
Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaves comes out clean, 35 minutes. Don't forget that you can use a probe thermometer to temp them as well. Check for doneness after 30 minutes. The temperature should be near 200° F.