Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Taste of Ireland

I couldn't let St. Patrick's Day pass without posting two of my favorite Irish recipes:  champ (mashed potatoes with green onions and butter) and Irish soda bread.

For this recipe, click here for Darina Allen's Scallion Champ.

I've tried a few different recipes for Irish soda bread.  My favorite one was developed by one of my favorite cookbook authors, Sarah Leah Chase.  It has Scotch-soaked raisins (hello!), a little brown sugar for sweetness and whole-wheat flour for fiber and texture.

Irish Soda Bread
Sarah Leah Chase
Cold-Weather Cooking
Copyright 1990
Workman Publishing

1 cup golden raisins
3 tablespoons Scotch
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
3 tablespoons melted, unsalted butter
1 tablespoon caraway seed

Toss the raisins with the Scotch at least one hour before making the bread.

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Whisk together the eggs with the buttermilk and butter.  Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir with a wooden spoon.  Add raisins and caraway.

Shape the dough into a round loaf on a greased or parchment-lined sheet pan.  Slash a deep X across the top of the bread.  Bake 45 to 50 minutes in a preheated 375 degree oven until brown.
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