Pretending to be Irish

Sometimes,  when we are studying the history of a particular country, I try to also plan a food to make from that country as a kind of cultural experience.  We have made lamingtons while studying Australia, all kind of Italian breads for Italy, Aloo Gobi for India, and lots of dim sum for China.

Recently, my oldest son and I learned about the Irish potato famine that happened way back in the late 1800’s.   This past weekend, of course, was St. Patrick’s Day.  This day usually kind of passes us by.  Most years I forget to even wear green.  This year was going to be different.  I planned to make a whole dinner of corned beef and cabbage or Irish stew and serve it with our TWD recipe for the week, Irish Soda Bread.  The next day, I planned to make corned beef hash, one of the husband’s favorite brunch dishes.

Unfortunately, almost none of it happened.  The boys were sick last week and we were busy getting ready for our trip out west.  At the last minute, I was reluctant to make a huge meal that would leave use with too many leftovers that we would not be able to eat before we left.  So, it turns out that the only thing I made for St. Patty’s Day was the Irish Soda bread.

It’s a ridiculously easy recipe and I would have had the boys help me if they weren’t coughing and hacking all over everything.  So, I made it myself.  I replaced half of the white flour with whole wheat flour and added 2/3 of a cup of currants and golden raisins.

I also added the zest of one orange to the buttermilk.  Not wanting to get out my pastry board, I just kneaded the dough in the bowl.  Just before I put it into the oven, I brushed it with some more buttermilk and sprinkled some rolled oats on top.

The husband was a little surprised when I told him there was no added fat in this recipe.  No butter?  Nope.  I think he was also really skeptical that it would taste any good.

But it was good.  Really good.  Especially with some butter spread on top.  The edges were nice and crunchy and lent a kind of nutty flavor.  The fruit was a great addition–I’m not entirely sure I would like it plain, but it was really delicious with the fruit.  I think it might be good with some lemon curd and a really good cup of tea, of course.

It took 5 minutes to prep (without stopping to take pictures.  Surely, you have time to make this?  The recipe is posted here and here.  It’s definitely worth a try.

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Posted on March 20, 2012, in Baking, Tuesdays with Dorie and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Your bread looks wonderful. Hope the boys are feeling better.

  2. It looks delicious…the oats on top are a good idea.

  3. loved all your upgrades!

  4. The oats on top are a fab addition. I agree with the above, you have really upgraded this loaf. I think I will steal some of your ideas for the next time I make it.

  5. Your loaf looks gorgeous! It’s a shame the boys were ill but I’m sure they’ll join in next time.

  6. youllfindmewhistling

    looks really yummy! I’ve really enjoyed having a look at all your scrumptious cooking & your quilting is amazing!

  7. Your bread looks great, love your additions. Lemon curd is an interesting thought.

  8. oh what a beautiful loaf!

  9. Your pictures are great and I enjoyed your story…hope you enjoyed your trip out west 🙂

  10. craftingismybliss

    Looks yummy.

  11. Your loaf looks beautiful! I also had plans to make something to go with my bread, but plans changed. That’s life. Everyone’s yummy-looking soda breads are making me want to give this another go for sure.

  12. Really love the color of your bread and adore the oats on top! Great job!

  13. There is something to be said for something that is so simple, but good. The oats on top added a real appealing texture!

  14. I’m impressed that you could bake anything with sick kids and a trip on the horizon! The day I planned to make this I lost track of time while working in the garden and still was able to throw it together in time for dinner, in my book that makes it a keeper!

  15. I pretty much did it all in one bowl too 🙂

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