Monday, March 7, 2016

March-Rain-Irish Soda Bread

March in the Northwest brings warmer days and nights, more sun, and our usual rain. We've had more rain this winter than previous winters. What does that mean living here? I drink more warm coffee and I started to think of home made warm bread, soups and stews. With St. Patrick's Day coming on, my Irish soul screams Irish Soda Bread, Shepherd's Pie and lots of Reuben sandwiches.

This is a recipe I've used in the past.

Irish Soda Bread
1 1/4 cups white flour
1 cup wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

To make buttermilk, pour 1 tsp white vinegar into 1 1/4 cups of milk.(You might as well keep buttermilk handy, it taste so much better than milk and vinegar.)  Preheat oven to 375F.
Place all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and “cut it in” until it is distributed evenly throughout the bowl. Combine with buttermilk and mix well. Add additional flour as needed a few tablespoons at a time until you achieve a dough stiff enough to stand without sagging. Knead the dough a few times in the bowl and shape into a ball.
Place the dough ball onto a lightly greased baking pan (we like to use a pie plate or cast iron skillet ). Flatten the dough with a spatula a bit. With a sharp knife, cut a cross into the top 3/4 inch deep . Bake at 375 F for 35-40 minutes.

But.... I must confess, after whipping up this mix, I haven't gone back to any recipe. This mix produces a moist, soft inside, rough outside, perfect loaf.
Here's what the loaf looks like

This is very quick to do up and I love this company and the flours it produces. 

We smoked a corned beef roast yesterday. You use a fruit based barbecue sauce to offset the pickling the beef has gone through. I used some strawberry preserves mixed into a smoky barbecue sauce with about 1/4 cup brown mustard. The pickling mix that comes with this roasts is discarded. It's an amazing way of preparing corned beef.

March promises spring. Its warmth is welcomed and needed. Little wild cilantro plants have surfaced in the garden buckets, raspberry leaves are sprouting and the buds on the blueberry plants are getting fatter. All of what Mother Nature is doing brings me joy. They are little things but lift the spirit in big ways. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods. Where I am, the frogs are singing every night, even during crazy wind storms. I drift off to sleep hearing their songs......


  1. Buds on the Blueberry bushes! Horray! Spring is coming! Can not wait to try this bread. Thank you for sharing!

    1. The mix makes a really good soda bread. Can't compete!