December 29, 2011

Irish Soda Bread

This recipe came straight from Ireland when my Great Grandma Bridget Meehan Kersting immigrated to the United States. Not only is Bridget my namesake, but I find her life story inspiring. When she was 17 years old, she left her family's potato farm in Ireland. She lied and said she was 18 in order to board a ship that would take her to New York. The trip was long, and she was sick for most of the journey. When she arrived in the United States, she came through Ellis Island. She had one relative who lived in the United States, but for the most part, she was on her own to navigate her new homeland.

It is a family tradition to make the bread every year for Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Years. This was my first time making the bread, and it was very easy. I decided to substitute Craisins for the raisins that the original recipe calls for.

4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. caraway

1 stick butter
2 cups buttermilk (1 pint)
1 cup raisins or Craisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all dry ingredients. Cut in softened butter using a fork. Add raisins and buttermilk. Mix until combined, using hands to combine if necessary.

Bake in an 8 or 9 inch pan or in an iron skillet for 45 minutes.