Monday, March 17, 2008

Katie Cooks: Irish Soda Bread edition

Happy St. Patrick's Day! A day when even people of German origins can pretend to be Irish. I sent my youngest off to school today wearing her St. Patrick's shirt, a green sweater, green socks, and even a green pony tail holder in her short hair. Her school is having a contest to see which class is wearing the most green. It's all about winning.

Katie is lamenting that we don't live in Ireland today - St. Patrick's is a national holiday there - banks, government, and schools are closed. Katie is in the basement doing school work. We can pretend to be Irish, but we will not pretend to live in Ireland.

This morning, in honor of the holiday, we made Irish Soda bread. I don't know how Irish the breaad is...but it has Irish in the name and that's good enough for me. There is no way that I am cooking (or that the kids would eat) corned beef and cabbage...so a little Irish soda bread to go with our chicken casserole tonight is just the ticket.

First, Katie measured out all the dry ingredients:

And then she added the buttermilk. And because she is the curious sort...she wanted to know what the difference is between buttermilk and regular milk. So...she decided to take a sip and see: This experiment was quickly followed by large gulps of water and the swishing out of her mouth.
Next, it's time to get your hands sticky and knead the bread:


After cooking...beautiful and yummy soda bread:


Here is our simple recipe:

Irish Soda Bread

4 cups of flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

2 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375. Grease an 8inch round cake pan.

Mix all dry ingredients.

Add buttermilk and stir with a fork until the dough holds together in a rough mass.

Knead for about 30 seconds, then put the bread into the pan - patting into an 8 inch round - about 1 1/2 inches thick.

With a sharp knife, slash a large 1/4 inch deep X across the top.

Bake for 45-50 minutes until nicely browned and the X has spread open.

Transfer to a rack to cool and then wrap in a slightly damp towel and let it rest on the rack for about 8 hours. Soda bread should be served completely cooled.

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16 comments:

Rhea said...

I've never had soda bread before. What does it taste like? Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Kat said...

Ummm...how does one describe tastes?? It's a really thick, heavy bread. Very yummy. Some people put raisins or currants in theirs - but we are not too keen on those here. It's really good - and easy - make it and see if you like! I am sure you will.

Rhea said...

You did a good job describing it...taste is hard to put on paper. lol I would probably love it, I'm a huge bread lover, but I had lap-band surgery in November and I'm supposed to stear clear of bread...apparently it doesn't go down too well...sigh.

texcindymath said...

eating a loaf of bread is my idea of going to my happy place!

tearese said...

oh okay. When you said soda, at first I was thinking like Sprite or something. Learn something new everyday! You've probably mentioned this in an older post..but why do you home school one and send the other to school? I know other people who do this too, just wonderin'.

Kat said...

Thanks for coming by Tearese! I think I explained why we homeschool one and not the other in my first post (what??!! You didn't go back and read ALL my posts?!)...but in a nutshell it's what works for us. We used to live in a horrid school district so that is why we homeschool Katie. She has gotten so far ahead I am not sure what the schools would do for her. And then with Madalyn...we sometimes have such a personality clash that I am sure she would refuse to learn from me. Both girls are happy...and neither wants what the other has. I can actually threaten to send Katie to public school...or keep Madalyn home...and then they toe the line. Hmmm...I am not blessed with in a nutshell explanations!

Rhea said...

Kat,I have a question for you. When we lived in Austin, my older son was in the best public school. The PTA funded a Spanish program for all the kids. Now that we have moved, our new public school, while good, doesn't offer Spanish. So, I want to teach both my boys Spanish and I'd like to teach them Latin also. What is the best place to find teaching materials for foreign languages? I was looking around for tutors and programs that would offer this in my area, but after seeing your website and learning some about your homeschool program, it occurred to me that I could teach my children (novel idea, I know). Any suggestions? I love Latin, took it in middle school and high school and have had years of Spanish as well. My husband majored in Spanish in college before going to law school. I think between the two of us we could do it...I think. Need help! Advice!

Rhea said...

I forgot to add, I have a 5th grader and a kindergartener (11years old and 6 years old, both boys).

Kat said...

Ummm...I don't know that I'll be of any help regarding the Spanish. I have contemplated Rosetta Stone for that. For Latin, I would recommend Minimus by Barbara Bell - it would be appropriate for both of your boys. After you finish Minimus, and Minimus Secundus, you could move to Latin Prep which is published by Galore Park (and I have a link over in my fourth grade curriculum sidebar). I teach high school Latin classes for homeschoolers and I use Latin for Americans which gives a great basis for grammar. HTH!

Rhea said...

Thanks, Kat! I like the looks of the Minimus books. Did you do the teacher book and the audio CD in addition to the pupil book?

I've emailed a few of my old Spanish teachers to get some ideas of good Spanish programs.

Kat said...

I did not do the Minimus CD - but did spend the big bucks to get the teacher's edition. I actually did not end up using it - I signed her up for Minimus Latin through our homeschool group - so she is in her third year of Latin - but I have not taught her. I would advise to get the teacher's book - and when you are done, you'll be able to sell it for about what you paid for it (kinda like a Honda Odyssey!)...

Wysperia aka: Wyspy ~ Wysp said...

I love Irish Soda bread. We're busy packing so I'll have to make this another time! I had already packed my cookbooks. :o(
I've saved your recipe. Thanks for sharing!
~W~

Lorna said...

This is one of my favourite things to eat. I love how your daughter couldn't resist having a taste of the buttermilk. It is quite an acquired taste. Ah, I can smell your bread in cyber-space.

Karen said...

I love Irish Soda bread ...tastes really good with butter and honey...

Tiffany said...

This bread looks yummy. Adding it to the list.

Dee from Downunder said...

Looks yummy! Similar to what we call aussie "damper" or campfire bread which uses water instead of milk. and you slather golden syrup on it - yummo (its like maple syrup but a bit lighter in taste)