...Especially when "someone else's roots" involve something delicious and full of sugar and butter. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwVj-G3k8yQ]
(A tune from my favorite Irishman, from a show I'm privileged to have attended)
So yes, I decided to gift you all with a spur-of-the-moment post because I've been craving soda bread for an unbelievably long time. What's "unbelievably long," you ask? Oh, I'd say it's been about ten days.
Yep. I'm addicted. And what better time to share this addiction with all of you dear, sweet readers than St. Patrick's Day?
Now, let me just say this: I have no idea whether this is authentic or not. It tastes pretty damned authentic, but really, I know exactly nothing. Also, it is ridiculously easy to make (especially if you enjoy getting really messy and then cleaning up after your/my filthy self), so let's quit the small talk and get to it!
Irish Soda Bread (makes a pretty large loaf that will still be difficult to emotionally and physically part with)
5 cups of all-purpose flour
1 cup of granulated sugar
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 cup of butter, cubed and softened
2 1/2 cups of raisins (you can use dried cherries or cranberries if you so desire)
2 1/2 cups of buttermilk
1 large egg
Preheat your oven to 350º and generously butter a skillet with high sides or a dutch oven. In the largest bowl you own, blend together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Add butter and blend together with fingers until the mixture looks crumbly and coarse, like this:
Whisk together the buttermilk and egg until blended, then stir buttermilk mixture into the rest of the ingredients. and mix just until all ingredients are incorporated. Do not overmix.
Now, working very carefully, transfer your now-definitely-sticky dough into the skillet or dutch oven you're using. This will be a pain and will result in you shedding a tear for all of the flour you just probably lost to your floor.
With a knife dipped in flour, trace a large X onto the top of the dough, then send this into the oven until the bread is cooked through, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool in the pan for about ten minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
I can't stop eating this. Seriously, there are crumbs in between the keys on my keyboard right now, because I'm a disgusting human being. Hopefully that is enough to convince you that you should spend a couple of hours making this. You're welcome.