A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Have you ever had this? Yum! Balisha Irish Soda Bread Recipe

4 to 4 1/2 cups flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 Tbsp butter
1 cup raisins
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
1 Preheat oven to 425°. Whisk together 4 cups of flour, the sugar, salt, and baking soda into a large mixing bowl.
2 Using a pastry cutter or two knives (can also use your fingers), work butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal, then stir in raisins.

3 Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add beaten egg and buttermilk to well and mix in with a wooden spoon until dough is too stiff to stir. Dust hands with a little flour, then gently knead dough in the bowl just long enough to form a rough ball. If the dough is too sticky to work with, add in a little more flour. Do not over-knead! Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and shape into a round loaf. Note that the dough will be a little sticky, and quite shaggy (a little like a shortcake biscuit dough). You want to work it just enough so that it comes together. If you over-knead, the bread will end up tough.

4 Transfer dough to a large, lightly greased cast-iron skillet or a baking sheet (it will flatten out a bit in the pan or on the baking sheet). Using a serrated knife, score top of dough about an inch and a half deep in an "X" shape. The purpose of the scoring is to help heat get into the center of the dough while it cooks. Transfer to oven and bake until bread is golden and bottom sounds hollow when tapped, about 35-45 minutes. (If you use a cast iron pan, it may take a little longer as it takes longer for the pan to heat up than a baking sheet.) Check for doneness also by inserting a long, thin skewer into the center. If it comes out clean, it's done.
Hint 1: If the top is getting too dark while baking, tent the bread with some aluminum foil.
Hint 2: If you use a cast iron skillet to cook the bread in the oven, be very careful when you take the pan out. It's easy to forget that the handle is extremely hot. Cool the handle with an ice cube, or put a pot holder over it.
Remove pan or sheet from oven, let bread sit in the pan or on the sheet for 5-10 minutes, then remove to a rack to cool briefly. Serve bread warm, at room temperature, or sliced and toasted. Best when eaten warm and just baked.


Doreen said...

mmmm...I've never made this but have always wanted to try..thank you for sharing the recipe

Happy St. Patrick's day

Amber Star said...

Southern girls never forget the handle of a cast iron skillet that has been in the oven has a sorching hot handle but once. The bread looks lovely and has got me all hungry now.

Happy St. Patrick's day

Balisha said...

Hi Doreen and Amber,
I left a comment on your blog, Doreen. Thanks for visiting.
Amber...my mother-in-law was a fan of the iron skillet.She had them in all sizes. She used to make little handmade potholders that fit over the handle.I never saw her use one though...she always had a kitchen towel thrown over her shoulder and would use that to take the pan out of the oven. She wore aprons too.
This bread isn't a sweet bread...it's more like a biscuit. I think that you have to use real butter on this one.

Noelle said...

I absolutely love Irish Soda Bread. It brings back memories of our trip to Ireland years ago. Thank you for the recipe.

thesouthernlady64 said...

Your bread looks just wonderful. I have not been up long and now I am starving. I like your figurine, too, in the post below. Sounds like you had some great times shopping with Mom.

thesouthernlady64 said...

It's me again! I read what you said about your mother-in-law. Both my mother and MIL wore bibbed aprons. My mom had the towel on her shoulder, too, and had all kinds of iron skillets. I still have some iron skillets. They fry the best chicken there is.

Balisha said...

Hi Noelle and Judy,
The bread is really good...especially with butter and marmalade. I use my iron skillet for fried chicken too, Judy. I think many of the women of the last generation were the same kind of cooks.. and had many similarities.