Irish Soda Bread

This is my first time participating in an internet bake along. I have seen a number of different groups such as The Secret Recipe Club, French Fridays with Dorie, etc. and thought it would be fun to join in. However, I am basically a chicken. What if I fail to make the recipe correctly? What if I take a horrible picture? What if I miss the deadline and get kicked out of the group? What if I make the wrong thing? What if I am totally INCAPABLE? What if my oven blows up?

I’m not sure why I have so many insecurities…maybe it is because I was hit by a car when I was three years old. It was kind of like one of those road runner cartoons. Wile E. Coyote looks both ways up and down the road and there are no vehicles in sight, so he starts to cross the road and WHAM, he gets hit by an Acme truck. That’s pretty much how I got hit by a car.

My mom, who was about 7 months pregnant and was holding my little brother in one arm and a bag of groceries in the other arm, looked up and down the street in front of the little grocery store in our small town. There were no cars coming, so Mom told me to run across the street to our car. I was about halfway across the street when WHAM, I got hit by a car.  We are not certain where the car had been when my Mom had looked up and down the street, but the bottom line is that I ended up with a laceration by my left eye, a fractured skull, and a concussion.

The most tragic part of the whole thing, at least from my three year old perspective, was that for several months I was not allowed to play on swings, or go down the slide, or run around, or jump on the bed, or do anything that was remotely fun because it might cause me to sustain further head injuries. I was consigned to coloring and playing with paper dolls. Life was soooooooooo boring.

Anyway, I guess I learned at a very young age about ‘what ifs’.

But, recently I saw a quote on Pinterest by Martin Luther, the founder of the Lutheran religion. He is credited with saying, “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree today.” I have thought about that quote a lot and decided that it was time for me to start planting some apple trees, so to speak.
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This bread was a great way to make some positive steps forward. I am joining in with Tuesdays With Dorie/Baking with Julia. Twice a month we will be baking an assigned recipe from the book Baking With Julia, written by Dorie Greenspan. The posts are to be presented with pictures of the featured item and links to two blogs for the recipe. If you would like the recipe please visit either of the following links: Chocolate Moosey or My Culinary Mission.
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I have some Irish roots, so it was fun to make something from Ireland. This bread was so incredibly simple to make, with just four ingredients: flour, salt, baking soda, and buttermilk. I did take the liberty of adding currants which gave a nice sweetness to the bread. It does not keep well, so plan on eating it shortly after baking. Yesterday it was quite tasty. Today, not so much, but it does make good toast. (I LOVE toast!)
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 Butter or oil a pie plate or baking pan.
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 Pour the flour into a large mixing bowl.
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 Add the baking soda. (NOT baking powder!)
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 Next comes the salt.
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 Stir the dry ingredients together.
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 Pour the buttermilk into the dry ingredients.
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 Now stir everything together.
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 I almost forgot to add the currants. I didn’t really measure, just threw in a big handful. Oh, and look at this picture–the day was mostly cloudy, but the sun peaked through the clouds just as I was taking the picture. You can see it shining on the book in the background and this whole picture just looks a little brighter and more sparkly!
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 After the ingredients are sort of mixed together, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Gather the dough together and work it just a little bit; nothing more than a few turns to make sure the ingredients are incorporated.
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 Form into a ball, place in the baking dish or on a baking sheet and flatten the top of the dough. Just use gentle pressure, kind of pat-pat and you are good to go.
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Use a sharp knife to score the bread with an  “X”, about 1/2″ deep.
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 Bake until a golden brown. The bread will sound hollow when tapped.
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 As you can see, this is a very rustic looking loaf. It was really quite enjoyable warm with softened butter.
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Remember, If you would like the recipe please visit either of the following links: Chocolate Moosey or My Culinary Mission.
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Comments

  1. says

    I’m glad you moved past your fears and joined this group! I’m sure failure isn’t in your future, because you are a queen in the kitchen! This bread looks oh-so-tasty, and I love the addition of currants. What a great idea!

    • says

      Tricia, the most interesting outcome has been with me, as a mother and now a grandmother. I am such a freak about kids getting too close to the road. I let my kids and grandkids do almost anything dare-devilish, but getting close to the street makes me a nut case. Funny how certain experiences in our early life impacts us so greatly in our later life.

      Anyway, thank you for your comments and thanks for dropping by.

  2. says

    Lookin’good, Terri! I love bread (and toast) but I am afraid of yeast so I will have to try this! How is your daughter’s hand? How does your son like North Dakota (where we haven’t really had winter this year and we are fearful the riff-raff will stay!! :o)…we have always said our extreme winter weather kept the riff-raff out…) haha!

    • says

      Hi Marla Rae–Just buy yourself a few packets of yeast and start experimenting with water temperatures to get it to activate. After that, the rest is pretty easy. Yeast will happily do its own thing!

      As for my daughter’s finger, a true miracle happened and the finger is healing. I’m planning a post about it this Sunday.

      My son is home this week, packing up all of his things to go back to North Dakota. So, I guess your riff-raff population will be increasing by one! He’s working hard, 12-15 hours a day, so his life is pretty much built around working, eating, sleeping with little spare time. It’s kind of funny, but he is used to lots of hills, mountains, and canyons around here with a lot of rugged terrain to do some serious jeeping. He sent us a picture of jeeping in North Dakota–a jeep with one wheel rolling over a fist sized rock!

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