Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you all! As you don your green and watch your parades (or not) maybe take a moment to think of some appropriate food to sop up all that lurid green beer you and your friends will surely be downing. Irish stew? Yeah, that’ll work…or you could go the “carb up” route, plan ahead, and kick off the festivities with some Royal Irish Soda Bread. It’s easy, delicious, and even good as day-after hangover toast breakfast. Enjoy!

1 c raisins

½ c Irish whiskey or hot water

4 T unsalted butter, cold

2 c unbleached flour

3 T sugar

1 tsp baking soda

¾ tsp salt

¾ plus 1 T buttermilk

Soak the raisings for at least 30 minutes or up to 12 hours. Drain.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. With your fingertips, break up  and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in raisins, then buttermilk just until dry ingredients are moistened and the dough comes together.

Knead the dough lightly about 8 times, until smooth but still a little sticky. Roll into a 6-inch round, place on baking sheet, and cut a ½” X on the top.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature, or slice it up for toast.

Recipe courtesy The Bread Bible by RoseLevy Beranbaum

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