Sunday, March 16, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day - Grandma Walsh's Irish Soda Bread


"I'll sing you a song, of days long ago,
When the people from Galway and County Mayo,
from all over Ireland came here to stay and take up a new life in Americay.
They were ever so happy, they were ever so sad. 
To grow old in a New World, through good times and bad. 
All the parties and weddings; the Ceilis and Wakes.
 When New York was Irish, full of joy and heartache."

That Paddy Reilly song gets to me every time. While it is a bittersweet song, I do have good memories of hearing it every Sunday on the radio in our apartment and in Grandma Walsh's apartment on WFUV Fordham University's "Music of the Irish" Program. Every Sunday we would go to Grandma's apartment for dinner. Her apartment always smelled so good. Warm, inviting, and enticing scents of roasted potatoes, meatloaf, and of course Irish Soda Bread. This was every Sunday, you could imagine St. Patrick's Day!
St. Patrick's Day holds a special place in my heart, I have so many good memories...Proudly wearing my Kilt and my Grandparents' "Erin Go Bragh" pin! If you don't know, 'Erin Go Bragh' means 'Ireland Forever!'
Look at this Kilt wearing, Shillelagh wielding trouble maker.
But what made it really special was that it was a day for me and Grandma. I got to stay up late, past my bed time, because she would take me to the Céili at the local Church. Those were true St. Patrick's Day Parties....Irish Music, Irish Accents, Soda Bread, and Céili dancing!
She would bring her Irish Soda Bread, which received many compliments and was always eaten and finished before those rock hard doorstoppers they sell at the supermarket.
So what exactly is it that makes Grandma's Soda Bread Different? In a word, Love.
She loved to make it and she loved to see our reaction to eating it. To this day if we mention her soda bread, Dad starts Mmmm-ing and dreaming about it. It was soft and flavorful, and you didn't have to fight anyone for a raisin! 
I miss my Grandma Walsh very much, and I miss those times... 
"I look at the photographs all riddled with time, of the people I cherished...
Oh how I love those radiant smiles, how I long for the days when we danced in the aisles."
But I know she's there smiling every time her recipes are shared and enjoyed with family and friends.
So here is her Outstanding Irish Soda Bread Recipe:



Grandma Walsh's Irish Soda Bread


4 cups Unbleached Flour
1/4 cup Sugar
1 TBLSP Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Butter
1/4 cup Canola Oil
2 cups Buttermilk*
1 Egg
1- 1/2 TBLSP Caraway Seeds
1 Cup Raisins

*If you don't have Buttermilk you can substitute: 
1 cup of Milk + 1 TBLSP Vinegar and let it sit for 5 minutes before using.

Preheat the oven to 375F.

1. Mix in a large bowl; Flour, Sugar, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, and Salt.

2. Make a well in the flour mixture and add the1-1/2 cups Buttermilk, 1/4 cup melted Butter, 1/4 cup Canola Oil, and the egg. Mix well.

3. Place the dough on a floured surface and knead slightly.

4. Add the Caraway Seeds a little at a time while continuing to knead.

5. Do the same for the Raisins, adding a little at a time while kneading.

6. Form the dough into a round about 1" high on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

7. Cut a cross in the top of the round.

8. Brush the loaf with a mixture of 1/4 cup melted Butter and 1/2 cup Buttermilk.

9. Bake in the oven at 375F for 50-60 minutes.

10. Brush the loaf with the butter mixture in the oven after 30 minutes and again 10 minutes before it's done.

11. Bread is done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.


Serve with Hot Tea and Irish Butter.

Enjoy!

I have entered this post in a Treat Petite Event Ireland, hosted by Cakeyboi and The Baking Explorer.
I have also entered this post in a Bake Fest #29
                                              

4 comments:

  1. Nice presentation with pics. May be I will try it.
    Nice to read the memories of your grandma. Lovely snaps. Very precious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Indrani! I hope you do and please let me know how it turns out!:)

      Delete
  2. Happy St Patrick's Day AND Happy Holi!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Amelia! Happy St. Patrick's Day and Happy Holi to you and your family! :)

      Delete

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