Anyway, it got me to thinking about Ireland in general and Irish food in particular. You all know by now how much I identify with my Irish heritage and how very proud I am to be able to say that my family came from the Emeral Isle, but I felt very disappointed in myself. I've only got six recipes on this blog tagged as Irish. Where have I gone wrong? I'm not doing a very good job of learning about my heritage if I'm not trying new recipes that my ancestors would have eaten.
So here's what I've got planned. From now on, once a week I'm going to make a full Irish meal. Each one will include at least one element that I've never tried to make myself before. And I'm going to share it with you. Heaven knows, I've got plenty of Irish cookbooks. There will be no excuses as to why I can't keep this promise. If nothing else, it will help me pass along my family's history to my own children and keep it alive for at least another generation. For this first recipe, I'm starting small and bringing you Irish Brown Soda Bread with homemade butter and jam (ok, and some Irish cheddar). Slainte!
Brown Soda Bread
Recipe from Irish Food and Cooking
4 cups wholewheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups buttermilk (you can use cream of tartar with the dry ingredients to provide acid in place of buttermilk or mix 1 Tbl white vinegar with 1 cup milk as a substitution; obviously, in this case, 2 cups milk and 2 Tbl vinegar)
- Preheat the oven to 400F and grease a baking sheet. Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir in just enough buttermilk to make a fairly soft dough. Turn on to a work surface dusted with wholewheat flour and knead lightly until smooth.
- Form the dough into a circle, about 1 1/2 inch thick. Lay on the baking sheet and mark a deep cross in the top with a floured knife.
- Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the bread is browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Cool on a wire rack. If a soft crust is desired, wrap the loaf in a clean dishtowel while cooling.