A Recipe: Irish Soda Bread

Snowy day consolation prize

Today as I look out my window snow is falling on our deck and in the woods behind our house. It is quietly loading trees and bushes with mounds of fluffy snow. Birds flutter and quarrel at our feeders, stocking up calories for the cold night ahead. A line of wild turkey hens wades up the ravine through the drifts, heading for our feeders where they might find a few dropped seeds.

It is very early in the season for this winter storm. It’s a big surprise for our Tennessee family who moved to Minnesota a few weeks ago. We assured them that for the last few winters snow hasn’t arrived until December. How wrong we were. There is a cold, fresh beauty to the way it gathers on everything, hushing all sound, and changing the world from blazing fall color to a pallet of black and white in just a few hours.

It’s our desire to welcome our family, to love them and comfort them from all the stresses that preceded their move. With the pandemic in full cry, we have needed to take precautions, not only because it is wise, but partly because I’m “one of those” with underlying conditions. I’m immune suppressed due to medications. This could make me very sad. But I won’t allow it.

One of the ways to bring comfort and pleasure to others is what I can do in the kitchen. Today it will be Irish Soda Bread. It is so simple to make and like all breads, just baking it in the oven sends aromas of deliciousness and anticipation throughout the house.

Wherever we look, whether outside the window to see all that white stuff we were not expecting or farther into our world to witness turmoil and suffering, there are still small things we can do for those around us. Even as I bake Irish Soda Bread, I’m not so foolish to think it can mend all things. I know. Only God can do that. Bread is a small thing, but that is what so much of life is about—being faithful in the small, ordinary thing right in front of you that might bring gladness to someone who needs encouragement.

Easy Irish Soda Bread
4 cups flour
4 T white sugar
1 T baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 cup raisins or currants
3 T melted butter
3 T buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Or line with parchment

2. Mix flour, sugar b. soda, b. powder, salt, raisins, and butter. Turn onto floured surface and knead slightly until it forms a ball.  This can be left as one loaf or cut in half to make 2 smaller loaves.

3. Slash with a knife to make an X in the top. Mix the melted butter and buttermilk in a small bowl and brush on the tops of the loaves.

4. Bake 40-45 minutes until toothpick comes out clean in the center. Check for doneness after 30 minutes. You can brush more butter mixture as it bakes.

Note: Buttermilk can also be used in other things like pancake mix and biscuits. If using as a substitute for milk, add a little baking soda.

Credit: Photo by Margie