St. Patrick’s Day is almost here!
To be fair, this means less to me than it does to my husband, a confirmed ‘person of slight Irish descent.’ In honor of his heritage (which in actuality is mostly Scandinavian), or perhaps more accurately in honor of his affinity for beer, he routinely goes all out on St. Patrick’s Day. This means several things: 1) watching The Boondock Saints (which is harder to wrap my head around now that I can only see Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon of The Walking Dead), 2) green bagels, and 3) Jameson Irish Whiskey, Bailey’s Irish Cream and Guinness Irish Stout beer all in one glass.
A couple years ago, to celebrate, we enjoyed some green bagels. Last year, we made Irish coffees to start the day. This year, I’m taking a tamer and more mature approach. I’m channeling Ina Garten and whipping up some Irish Soda Bread.
Since this St. Patrick’s Day is on a #workday (ew), we won’t be getting crazy, but we can still eat ten servings of bread. (Ok, so maybe that is kind of crazy. We’re wild.)
Need a few more reasons to make Irish Soda Bread? How about this – it’s just slightly sweet from the tiny bit of sugar in the dough and the golden raisins and chopped dates mixed in. So, it’s almost like dessert…
Or how about this – made with chunks of cold butter, it has an almost flaky biscuit-like texture and flavor which makes it just a little richer than your ordinary loaf of bread…
Yet it can also be purposed as breakfast food. Sliced, toasted, and buttered? Or maybe French toasted?? Then, there’s the fact that it barely takes any time to make, so you might as well just do it…
Or you could just make it because it’s a good way to incorporate some “Irish” in your day. I adapted this recipe from Ina Garten’s Irish Soda Bread. Her recipe can be found here.
Irish Soda Bread
- 4 c. all purpose flour
- 4 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 4 Tbsp. cold butter, diced
- 1 3/4 c. cold buttermilk (or about 1 1/2 c. almond milk with 1/4 c. white vinegar, mixed)
- 1 egg, beaten
- zest of 1 orange
- 1/2 c. golden raisins
- 1/2 c. chopped dates
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is mixed into the flour.
Combine the buttermilk, egg, and orange zest. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. Combine the raisins and dates with about 1 tbsp. of additional flour and mix into the dough.
Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and knead it a few times into a round loaf, incorporating a little more flour into the loaf as you knead. Place the loaf on the prepared sheet pan and lightly cut an X into the top of the bread. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day friends! Hope you enjoy a drink or two. But not green beer. Think bigger.