September 22, 2013

Traditional Irish Soda Bread

Click for recipe for Traditional Irish Soda Bread
Traditional Irish Soda Bread

I live in the state of West Virginia. Not Virginia. I have only been to Virginia once in college for a conference in Richmond. It was nice, but not my state. All of this has to do with an experience I had a couple of weeks back. I had a bad experience at a major fast food chain and went to their Facebook page to complain. I went to the drop down menu on the complaint form and my state wasn't there. There was a state abbreviated as WE. Ummm, okay that must mean that South Carolina is SO, oh wait that means that South Dakota would be the same abbreviation. It just doesn't work and there is no legal abbreviation of West Virginia that makes it WE. This experience only reminded me that my state is often the forgotten state. We make the news for being over weight, poor or having beautiful scenery and not much else. I wish that would change. West Virginia is a beautiful state, but it is much more than that. It is the state that I moved 2500 miles away from home and decided to make my life 'home' with my family. It's the state I am raising my kids. We are kind, smart and educated people. While we might talk with an accent we aren't stupid. Most West Virginians would give you the shirt off their back if you needed it. While the pace might be a little slow, or people like to sit on their porch in the evenings it isn't because we are lazy. We have learned what it means to enjoy the journey.  I hope that by the time my kids are adults that West Virginia has stopped being the forgotten state and has started being recognized for so much more. West Virginians have a wealth of knowledge and kindness to be offered if given the chance. Many states could learn a lot by being a little bit more 'West Virginian'. Now onto the food (WV also has great food!). Last week I made one of my favorite recipes for Irish Soda Bread. I make it frequently for my family and it's so good.
Image of Harris Riverfront Park, Huntington, WV
Harris Riverfront Park, Huntington, WV

This recipe has 4 ingredients. It takes an hour of total time, 15 minutes of which is active and makes 16 servings. I have made this bread for years. There are always a few changes I make to recipe. First, my husband and kids prefer the recipe with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt. I use bread flour for this recipe, it gives it a nice texture. If you use the 14 ounces of buttermilk in the original recipe the bread can be a little hard to put together. I normally add 2 more ounces so the dough sticks together and forms a ball. Make sure to make a cross on the top of the bread for a nice crust.
Image of Huntington, WV Flood Wall
Huntington, WV Flood Wall

I have been making this recipe for years and my family loves it. It was one of my favorite bread recipes when I could still eat gluten (now when I make wheat bread I wear gloves and make sure not to cross contaminate etc). If you prefer whole wheat flour you can also make brown soda bread. I have made it a few times and it is also very good. Make sure to eat the soda bread within a day or two, it dries out very quickly.

For the recipe go to Traditional Irish Soda Bread.

Traditional Irish Soda Bread

Recipe Type: Bread
A simple recipe for traditional Irish soda bread using cake pans. Great crust!
Preparation Time: 0h, 15m
Cooking Time: 0h, 45m
Total Time: 0h, 60m
Yield: Serves 16
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