Happy St. Pat's Day!

St. Patrick's Day is the most widely celebrated Saint's day in world.  Did you know that blue was the original color associated with this day? As early as the 17th century  the color green became associated, due to shamrocks and green ribbons worn in celebration of St. Patrick's Day.
I thought about baking cupcakes with green batter or perhaps clover shaped cookies, but I finally made up my mind and decided to go with soda bread.  Who better to turn to than Rachel Allen, the Irish chef from Rachel Allen Bake (Cooking Channel).  This is a very simple  and basic recipe; the variations are endless.

                                                              White Soda Bread


2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 - 2 cups buttermilk


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Sift flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt into large bowl, and make a well in the center.  Pour most of the buttermilk into well, leaving about two ounces in measuring cup.  Using fingers outstretched like a claw, bring flour and liquid together, adding more buttermilk if necessary.  The dough should be soft, but not to wet and sticky.
When dough comes together, place it on floured work surface, and bring together a little more.  Pat dough into a round, about 1 1/2 inches deep, and cut a deep cross in it to allow heat to penetrate.
Place on baking tray and bake for 15 minutes, then turn oven temperature to 400 degrees and cook for 30 minutes.  When cooked, the bread will sound a little hollow when tapped on base; this will let you know it's done.

Note:  Best eaten the day it's baked.
Enjoy with butter or jam.


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