Because tomorrow is St. Paddy's Day, I decided to try making some. It turned out ok, I think, although it's the wrong shape because I don't own the right kind of pan.
St. Patrick's Day is the saint's day of the patron saint of Ireland. It commemorates the conversion of the Irish to Christianity in the 5th century. Folklore tells that St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Trinity to the pagan Irish, hence the use of the colour green. It is a day of celebration whence the Lenten restrictions were lifted, and is now the most widely celebrated saint's day, both in Ireland and in the diaspora.
Soda bread dates back to the 18th century when before the arrival of European settlers, indigenous people in the Americas used potassium carbonate to make quick breads. Soda bread arrived in Europe in the mid-19th century when bicarbonate of soda became more widely available.
Recipes for soda bread first appeared in the early American cooking cookbooks, such as Amelia Simmons' American Cookery and Mary Randolph's The Virginia Housewife, the first published at the turn of the 19th century and the second published about thirty years later.
Irish Soda Bread
130 g flour (as usual, I used a GF mix, but if you are using regular flour, try and use a wheat flour with a low gluten content)
30 g and another 15 g of sugar
150 g butter
1.5 teaspoons baking soda
1.5 teaspoon cream of tartar
(OR 1 t baking soda and 2 t baking powder)
250 mL buttermilk
180 g raisins
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Grease the baking pan. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Cut in butter until the mixture is crumbly. Create a well in the middle of the dough and slowly add buttermilk, mixing gently with a fork. Add the raisins
It should look something like this:
Put dough into greased baking pan. Sprinkle remaining sugar on top. Bake for 40 minutes, or until he top is golden brown and a knife comes out clean.