Wednesday is Saint Patrick’s Day (don’t forget to wear green or the leprechauns will pinch you) and even though my family is only moderately Irish, and I, in fact, have never been to Ireland, my family celebrates every year without fail. Part of it is that my grandparents were married on March 17 (and enjoyed the luck of the Irish — they were married for 59 years), and part of it is that we happen to like celebrations, and if that celebration involves food, then we’re definitely in.
So March 17 sees us feasting happily on beer, corned beef, more beer, English mustard (don’t tell the people who are actually Irish!), beer, cabbage, Jameson’s (a change from beer), mashed potatoes, and always, always Irish soda bread. This might not look like the Irish soda bread you’ve seen — there are no raisins, no caraway seeds. But this version, a “brown soda bread” made with half whole wheat and half white flour, is more authentically Irish, according to Darina Allen and Rory O’Connell, founders of the Ballymaloe Cooking School. And it’s incredibly satisfying – hearty and only slightly sweet, with a crunch to the crush and a melting interior. Warm from the oven with a pat of butter, it really can’t be beat.
Continue reading Irish Soda Bread — Erin Go Bragh