Surely this past weekend was filled with a sea of greenery on the streets. No, I’m not talking about new tree plantation or free money flowing around (though I wished for both), but as it was St. Patrick’s Day yesterday, it was the moment for everyone to congregate together, all dressed in anything in green color (including stickers and tattoos) and also the perfect excuse to down some Guinness and bar hopping like bunnies. I actually am not a ‘crowd’ person, so I shy away from parades, crowds, and free giveaways like cooties. Knowing that pubs and bars would be packed with pint raising arms and rowdy groups, I steered clear of those places as well and instead, when to a Mexican restaurant for a quiet brunch time with mom. Although I did not take in any drinking activities, I did engage in some cooking celebration though. After Guinness, IRish soda bread is probably the next traditional foods to consume for St. Patrick’s Day. What’s great about this ‘bread’ is that it is quick to put together (no yeast involved). Sort of like a quick bread, like banana bread. The ingredients are probably available in your very own pantry at any given day, so really, there is no excuse to NOT be a little Irish yourself as well.
Traditional Irish soda bread includes no raisins, hence the additional of dried fruits is the American version. Guess Americans just have a sweet tooth for everything.
1 cup of milk
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Stir milk and vinegar together, let the liquid sit for 10 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
3. Gradually stir the soured milk into the flour mixture. Take the dough out and knead it a few times, then shape into a ball. Place the dough onto an oiled baking sheet. As with tradition, mark an ‘X’ on top of the dough to release steam and help the bread keep its round shape.
4. Bake for approximately 40-45 minutes until golden bread.
Sliced, this soda bread is great with a spread of jam or butter. Irish butter.