Irish Soda Bread for SRC

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And just in time for St. Paddy's Day, I bring you Irish Soda Bread by way of the Secret Recipe Club and this blog, The Tasty Cheapskate.  
 Corned Beef for St. Patrick's Day

I was perusing Jean's recipes for my SRC monthly assigned blog and ran across this recipe for Irish Soda Bread.   And since I do a killer (even if I do say so myself) Corned Beef, I had to make this bread to go with it. Jean also has a No-Knead Oatmeal Bread recipe that sounded intriguing. as well as Dal with Tomato and Cream.   And the Reuben Dip, well, I think it will be making an appearance at one of our Tapas Nights.

The Secret Recipe Club is a bunch of bloggers who are divided into four groups, and each one of the groups is responsible for posting a recipe on consecutive Mondays.  Group A gets to post first, then Group B posts the next week, Group C the following week and Group D is last and then we start all over again for the next month.

I'm in Group B, and it's our week to post the recipe we chose from our assigned blog, so here it is.

I've actually had a tried and true Soda Bread recipe that I've been making since high school, so was curious to see how this recipe differed from my tried and true one.  And it was very good.   A little denser, but that's really alright, I like a good dense bread.  And best of all, a good soda bread recipe should be in every cook's arsenal.
You never know just when you'll need one.

Soda Bread
4 Cups  flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 C sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 C buttermilk
1/2 C raisins (optional)

Combine flour, salt, sugar and baking soda in a large bowl.   Stir the buttermilk in, a cup at a time, depending on the humidity, you may not need all of it.  Mix together well, then place on a floured surface and form into two balls.  Be warned, this is a 'wet' dough, but you can make it into a ball.  Slash an 'X' into the tops, quite deeply, then place on a greased cookie sheet and bake in a 375 degree oven for 40-45 minutes.  
In the oven, a few minutes into the baking process, the 'X' slashed into the top allows the bread to expand and still look good.
Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread
I was expecting company for a Corned Beef dinner so this was a perfect choice for me to make as my recipe this month.

We also had some Haluska and Green Beans brought by my friend Donna, as well as some boiled taters and the requisite Cabbage, Carrots and Potatoes cooked in the corned beef liquid. 
Green Beans

 And then I had to try making the Soda Bread again, cause I spaced getting pictures of the process, and decided that the Craisins I had in the cupboard would go well in the bread.  And somehow the toasted chopped pecans that had been leftover from a previous recipe found their way into the dough as well.   Gotta say, it's even better with the addition of the craisins and pecans.   And I did halve the recipe, mainly cause I can only eat so much bread.

 Just kidding...  Bread is good food. 
 I love my Kitchen Aid stand mixer, it's the only way I can mix up a lot of the stiffer doughs anymore.
Irish Soda Bread with Craisins and Pecans

 Shaped and ready to be 'slashed'. 
Irish Soda Bread with Craisins and Pecans

Irish Soda Bread with Craisins and Pecans
 Amazing how much these rise with the soda and buttermilk reaction. 
Irish Soda Bread with Craisins and Pecans
 I will be making the bread again, with the Craisins and the Pecans.

Take a look at the recipes my fellow bloggers in Group B made this month:

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