It's finally St. Patrick's Day, which means corned beef, red potatoes, cabbage, and of course Irish soda bread! This is one family recipe I can always count on when March 17th rounds the corner each year. A running debate stays constant in our house over which Irish soda bread is best, the plain original kind or our modern version with raisins. I like the raisins because it adds a simply sweet taste to the warm bread, and if you add butter and Cloister Honey whipped cinnamon, its simply delectable. So, in case you're looking for a fun activity this St. Paddy's Day, make Irish soda bread at your house to bring you and yours the luck of the Irish this year!
Makes two loaves:
Blend together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Cut in butter until mixture resembles course meal. Add raisins, buttermilk and egg; stir until blended. Knead on floured board until smooth, about 1 minute. Shape dough into 2 balls and place in 2 greased 8 inch round cake pans. Flatten to fill pans. Cut a deep cross in top of each loaf. Bake at 375-degrees about 40 minutes or until done. Full baked bread, when cooled, can be frozen in moisture proof wrappings and stored 3 - 6 months. HINT: A loaf is done when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom or sides. It should look well risen and nicely browned. For another test, pierce the loaf with a metal tester and immediately touch the end of the tester to your wrist. It should be almost hot enough to burn you - but it won't. There should be no uncooked dough or moisture on the tester.