Nantucket Atheneum is sponsoring an Irish Soda bread making class at the Saltmarsh senior center this Friday March 11th, from 1:30 - 3:30pm, in preparation for St. Patrick's day. If you can't make the class then come to the Inn or bake a loaf at home, served warm with butter and a cup of Irish breakfast tea to get in the spirit of this favorite March holiday. I would also suggest some Clancy Brothers folk music, corned beef and cabbage, and a recitation of the Irish Blessing which reads:
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
And the rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.
Mom's Sunday Best Irish Soda Bread Recipe
4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
1 1/2 cups of Golden raisins and 1/2 cup of Currents
1 1/2 cup of buttermilk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
Heat oven to 350 degrees, line a baking sheet w/parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and caraway seeds until well combined then cut butter into dry ingredients until it feels like coarse meal - then stir in raisins.
In a small bowl, whisk egg, buttermilk, baking soda and pour into the flour, butter mixture - stirring till combined. Knead and press the dough into a round shape for 5-10 min. until the dough is shiny. Transfer to baking sheet. Mix yolk and cream and brush onto top of loaf. Finally, cut an Irish cross into the top - bless the loaf - and bake 70 minutes until golden brown.
Happy St. Patricks Day!