Irish Soda Bread – my St. Patrick’s Day bread

Irish Soda Bread

This is the recipe I always used for St. Patrick’s Day. Usually I make one big round loaf using my largest pyrex bowl from the set of three.

I made two loaves with the full recipe.

This time though I decided to make two smaller loaves so I could share one with my friend Ann Marie, shh, it’s a surprise!

The two loaves cooling, gosh the house smelled wonderful!

After 10 minutes cooling, you can take the bread out of the bowls to finish.

Oh deliciousness!

If you can resist, it tastes best the day after you make it. Let it cool totally, wrap up tightly the RESIST! Well I usually can’t do that…resist that is, so I have a nice slice after dinner with coffee. Well you do have to test it to make sure it’s good enough for everyone right?

Irish Soda Bread – Makes one big loaf or two smaller ones.  Directions also follow for mixing it up for jar mixes.
Preheat oven 375 F and grease your bowl(s).
4 c flour
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 T caraway seeds
1/4 c butter, (1/2 stick) softened
1 c raisins
1 1/3 c buttermilk (or 1 1/3 c milk with 1 T + 1 tsp of vinegar or lemon juice added to the measuring glass first. )
1 egg

1. Put your sifter into or over a bowl then put in it- flour, sugar, salt and baking powder, baking soda, then sift into bowl.

2. Cut in butter with pastry blender until like course crumbs, rub in with fingers if you need to also.

3. Mix in caraway seeds and raisins.

4. Combine the milk, egg and baking soda and mix well. I measure the milk into a large liquid measuring cup then add the other things to it.

5. Stir into the flour mixture, mix with fork first then use bowl scraper or big rubber spatula.

6. Turn dough onto floured surface, I do it right on my counter top. Knead lightly until smooth, really hardly at all, just to form a ball shape, dough will be soft.  Shape into a ball then spray a pyrex bowl (the large one of a set of three) with spray vegetable oil. OR divide dough in two and put each in medium sized bowl.

7. Put dough in and cut a deep cross or X into it with a knife, (to release the fairies!) gently push it apart so it’s slightly open. Take one egg yolk and brush (or use fingers) on top and into cracks.

8. Bake one hour, (for two smaller loaves bake 50 minutes) cool in bowl 10 min. then remove to finish cooling.

This tastes best the next day, if you can resist! Wrap well and store in ziplock bag as you use it up.

Irish Soda Bread Recipe Post Card postcard
Click the picture above to see a glossy recipe post card you can order for your self or send to a friend. (Or put your own favorite recipe and photo on it using my template!)

Full sized loaf of whole wheat soda bread I made another time using this recipe.

** Another version: 1/2 golden raisins, 1/2 regular raisins,  no caraway seeds, 1 1/2 c white whole wheat flour, 2 c regular flour, 1/2 c oatmeal.

** Another version I tried: leave out the raisins and seeds, cut sugar to 1/8 c, use 2 c whole wheat flour, 2 c white whole wheat flour, add a bit more of the baking soda, I added a LOT of Italian seasoning and parsley, some basil this was good, but I also added dried cut up tomato and this was ok, wouldn’t add next time, but mine were quite dry.

** The original recipe has you add the baking soda with the milk and egg, then add it all at once to the dry mixture. I found no difference really by adding it with the dry ingredients, the mix the egg and milk and add. Just have your oven ready because with soda breads and scones you want to get them into the oven right away.

** For putting into jars to mix small loaf when you want it. I love doing this with recipes because I’m only baking for one or two and this way I can make smaller amounts and have it ready quicker!

1. Mix in a big bowl:
4 c flour
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

Write out instructions on a small paper, tape to the jar.

2. Divide between two (2 c) mason jars, about 2 c + 3-4T each or divide putting some in a jar and some into a bowl to make into bread right away.
3. Put these instructions on the jar (cover the paper with wide clear tape totally and it will last longer): To make put contents into bowl.
4. Cut in 2 T (1/4 stick) softened butter, then rub in till like crumbs.
5. Add 1/2 c raisins + 1 1/2 tsp caraway seeds (if adding these things)
6. Mix 1/2 an egg with 5 1/2 oz OR 1/2c + 3 1/2 T of Buttermilk (or add 2 tsp. vinegar or lemon juice to milk) Mix in with flour with fork then use bowl scraper to get into a dough. Put on floured cupboard and lightly knead into a ball. Put in greased Med. Bowl cut X in top and brush with remaining egg. Bake 375 for 50 min.

I also add the dry ingredients list to make new batches on the back side.

I also put the dry ingredients list on the jar so I can easily make new batches and refill. Try all kinds of variations with your soda bread. Decrease sugar if making a savoury bread for dinner.

Enjoy baking and let me know if you try this bread!

Don’t forget to check out my shop on Zazzle, lots of spring cards and gifts and glossy recipe cards you can send. GO HERE

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Grandma Judge’s Peanut Butter Cookies

Nothing like stacks of home made peanut butter cookies!

This has to be one of my favorite recipes, these cookies come out light and crispy and you’ll be grabbing a glass of cold milk to dunk them in before long.

Here’s the ingredients:

1 c shortening

1 c sugar

1 c brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

3 c flour

1 tsp salt

2 tsp baking soda

1 c peanut butter

1. Cream the shortening and sugars well, then add the eggs and vanilla. Mix well.

2. In another medium size bowl, put the flour, baking soda and salt and mix. I use a whisk to mix it together. Now add it to the creamed mixture.

3. Add the peanut butter and mix well.

4. Put balls on ungreased cookie sheet and squish gently with a fork.

5. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

cookie dough in the mixer

make balls of dough with your hands

If the dough is a little dry, just kind of push the dough together more than roll it. Sometimes I put dough in the refrigerator to bake the next day, these will get just a bit dry but still work fine.

pressing with a fork

Gently press with a fork after putting on the cookie sheet. If the dough is a bit dry (see above) then you can use your fingers to gently press the sides of the dough in as you squish.

Peanut Butter Cookies

Ahh…excuse me while I go pour that glass of cold milk! Click on the note card I created below, it has the recipe printed on it so you can cut it off and have a glossy photo recipe card! In my Zazzle shop.

Grandma Judge’s Oatmeal Cookies

stacks of cookies...yummm

This is a recipe my mom made every year at Christmas and sometimes during the year because they were so popular with us; it was from her mom, my Grandma Judge. They are a light and crispy cookie that have several spices in them. My mom used the Quaker 5 minute oats but because I buy the whole rolled oats, I use that, they have a bit more texture but the same great taste. I also add chocolate chips to half of the dough because, well you know…gotta love chocolate chips!
Here’s the ingredients list first:
1  1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1 c shortening (crisco or other brand of vegetable solid white short.)
2 Tbsp milk
2 eggs
2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2  1/2 c oatmeal (uncooked!)
1 c raisins
1 c nuts (we use walnuts but you can use pecans or whatever floats your boat)
1 c chocolate chips…optional, I add this but then just throw in more until it looks well saturated with chips..hee hee…
Here’s the easy instructions with some photos following, have fun!  (ALWAYS  WASH your hands first!!)
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
2. Put the sugars and shortening in mixer bowl and cream until fluffy.
3. Set your flour sifter in a medium bowl, put the flour followed by the spices and powders into it and sift into the bowl.
4. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture using a small measuring cup, add some then let it mix in, add more, let it mix. Scrape down the dough sometimes from the sides of the bowl. Oh yes, do it on low so it doesn’t ‘puff’ out all over!
5. With mixer still on low, add oatmeal and mix well.
6. Add nuts and raisins and mix well. It’s a stiff dough and will climb up the bowl, tame the beast by pushing it back into the bowl. You can add those chips now, or wait and bake half this dough, then mix in some by hand to the remaining dough.
7. Use a teaspoon to scoop up a bit of dough and put on a lightly greased cookie sheet. I can fit 12 on one sheet and just spray a bit of vegetable oil spray on it then rub it around with your hand. If you don’t have that you can use the solid shortening and rub it on with your hand or a paper towel. (Don’t be afraid to use your hands, you’ll be washing them a lot and the oil is good for them!)
8. Bake 10-12 minutes. In my oven it takes 12 minutes. Then remove them with a spatula/pancake turner to cool on a rack.
Click on any picture to see enlargement.
mixing the dough

mixing the dough

Add a little at a time and let it mix well after each addition.

smashing the nuts

I don’t ever chop nuts anymore, I put them in a ziplock bag (the heavy freezer bags are best) and then I gently whack them with the side of a meat tenderizer. Can you gently whack something? It’s great, no mess, no flying nuts onto the floor, just smash then pour them into your measuring cup. (no need to seal the bag, just don’t overfill it)

oatmeal cookie dough filled with goodies!

cooling on the rack

cookies close up

stacks of cookies...yummm

Time to call the munchkins in to eat ’em! Oops, they smelled them a long time ago and are already snitching some!

Click on the picture below to see a Note Card I created with the recipe printed on the back of the photo, you can cut it off and have a recipe card with a glossy photo! Great idea to send someone who loves to bake.

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