Celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day
Maybe it’s the flour, like great Southern biscuits need a soft flour such as White Lily,maybe there is a special Irish flour they use, but the soda bread I had in Ireland was the best ever.
Soda bread of the 1830’s later became known as Irish Soda Bread, prepared by immigrants in America and not an original Irish bread. By the late 1800’s Irish Soda Bread, a light bread leavened with baking soda instead of yeast and cooked in a cast-iron skillet, replaced traditional Irish Brown Bread in America. Colcannon, another traditional Irish favorite was replaced by Corned Beef and Cabbage.
The recipe below is my version of Irish Soda Bread.
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups raisins, optional
- 2 eggs
- 1¼ cup buttermilk
- 1 cup sour cream
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a 9-inch cast iron skillet.
- Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Stir in raisins, if desired.
- In a medium bowl combine eggs, buttermilk and sour cream.
- Stir into flour mixture until just mixed.
- Knead the sticky dough about 10 times.
- Shape into a ball and place in skillet.
- Cut a 4 inch X across the top of the dough.
- Bake at 350 degrees about one hour or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool in pan 10 minutes then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.
We already knew there was a link to Florida Crackers and the Irish.
The Cracker culture has roots in the Celtic way of life. Migrating to the area from New England, these Scots-Irish found they had more in common with the Southern way of life than the New England. According to Grady McWhiney, author of Cracker Culture, Celtic Ways in the Old South, “Traditionally, neither Celts nor Southerners like sheep,” and open-range herding was another practice they both used. New England was like a home away from home for the English, while the South was a second home for the Scots-Irish. A Culinary History of Florida
A Gaelic revival was going on so the street signs were posted in Gaelic and English.
The most fun was when Jackson said: “I’ve always wanted to drive on the wrong side of the road, legally that is.” Later Jackson turned on the radio and we heard it was “National Safe Driving Day”. I was so happy that it wasn’t just me saying “Be Careful” every 15 minutes.
Highlights from our Irish trip.