Irish Soda Bread and Some High Notes #StPatricksDay #wwwblogs #writing

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!Irish Soda Bread 6

My little nephew’s motto for the day is my favourite: “Kiss me, I’m Indish!” A witty wink to his multicultural heritage.

Those of you who are friends of the blog know about my reluctance to bake bread. I went through a bread maker phase…that was about a year ago and it fizzled out. Does this always happen with bread makers? Or maybe it’s just flashy things in general? Hm.Irish Soda Bread 5

Anyhoo, I came across this recipe yesterday. Have you heard of the Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread? Well, if you have, you are infinitely cooler than I am. It’s a real organization whose mission can be summarized in their title. Check out their site, it’s quite neat: http://www.sodabread.info/menu/. I used the recipe I found there. Unfortunately, I don’t have a bastible pot, so I baked mine in a skillet that was passed down to me by my mom, and topped it with a cake pan. Some purists may call this technique nonsense. *shrugs*Irish Soda Bread 7

This loaf is easy in terms of ingredients and preparation. I especially like that it is yeast-free, for those with sensitivities.

Making this loaf helped me bake away some stress. I’m nearing the final push of my latest novel WIP and it’s been quite taxing. I hope to finish it over the next few weeks and then take a little break to replenish my well.

One pleasant distraction on the horizon is an upcoming trip to London at the beginning of April to attend a family wedding. I haven’t been back for a few years now, so I’m looking forward to rediscovering the city, jogging in Hyde Park, and nibbling on pasties in Covent Garden. Oh, and Nandos. Man, I love that place.

When I get back I’ll be focusing on learning this:Hen

My mom played birthday elf yesterday and surprised me with this incredible piano. She’s known of my dream to learn to play ever since I was a teenager. Now that I’m a thirty-something, the question I ask myself most often is: Anita, what are you waiting for? Carpe diem and all that stuff. So far, I’ve learned the basics about keys, hand placement, and C scales. Learning “Twinkle Twinkle” made me twinkle twinkle. So when I’m not writing in April, I’ll be spending quality time with Henry…Oh, that’s what I’ve named my piano, by the way. It’s only been a day but I can already tell we’re soul mates. When you know, you know.Someone's found his new favourite perch.

Thanks for wading through this rambling update. I hope you’re blessed with the luck of the Irish – or Indish, ha ha – this day and all others.

Thanks for visiting,

A :-)Irish Soda Bread 4

Irish Soda Bread

Ingredients:

4 c all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 3/4 c buttermilk (To make your own, add 1 Tbsp + 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice to milk and set aside to curd for 10 minutes.)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a baking sheet, cake pan, or skillet and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Form a well in middle of the flour and add buttermilk.
  3. Using your hands, mix buttermilk into flour to form a raggedy dough.Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Lightly knead the dough a few times to make a smooth ball.Irish Soda Bread 2Bastible pot variation
  4. Place loaf in skillet. Using a knife, score the top of the loaf with an X. Cover with a baking sheet or cake pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake for another 15 minutes. The loaf is done when browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Cover the warm bread in a tea towel and lightly sprinkle water on the cloth to keep the bread moist.
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53 thoughts on “Irish Soda Bread and Some High Notes #StPatricksDay #wwwblogs #writing

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    1. Thanks so much, Elaine! Coming from you that’s a wonderful compliment. :-) And yes, I’m coming to London! I only finalized my plans last Friday, so it’s all very recent. I’ll be staying in town and travelling to the countryside for the day to attend the wedding. I’ll touchdown on April 6th and leave on the 13th, so just a week. But I think it’ll be fun! I wish we could meet up! :-)

      1. That’s a really good question. I’ll have to get back to you about that, ha ha. I think it’s around Stroud. Is that close to you by chance?

      2. Ooo that’s too bad! I rented an airbnb flat in central London, a neighbourhood called Pimlico. It’s supposed to be walking distance to many sights and parks, which is ideal for me because I love to jog. :-)

      3. Is it? Oh thank goodness! It’s so hard to know when you’re booking online. The people I know in London all live in the GLA, so weren’t much help with scoping out good locations in town, ha ha!

      4. Oh wonderful, that’s so good to know! I’m going to be trekking around a lot on my own so I wanted to be a safe and accessible area. :-)

  1. Pimlico is indeed very cool! Is the wedding on Satuday 9th? I’m coming into London that day to meet friends for afternoon tea :-)

    That soda bread looks amazing! My Mum is Irish (so is my Dad) and she was thoroughly impressed with the pictures!

    Good news that you’re nearing the end of your current WIP and that is a fantastic birthday present. I had lessons for 8 years growing up and would love to get back into it. I keep planning to buy a keyboard and hopefully can teach Sam when he’s old enough to start learning. And does this mean I missed your birthday?!?!

    1. Thanks so much, Claire! Wow, I’m so pleased that your mum liked the photos. *blushing* It was so fun to make and delicious too. I just had some for breakfast. Yes, I finally booked my travel last Friday after a lot of flip-flopping. It’s good to hear that Pimlico is a good area, my sources weren’t much help! Oh wow, you’re going to be in London too? Afternoon tea sounds amazing. The wedding is actually on Friday. I’m still working out whether I’m going for the day or staying overnight in the country. But either way, I think I should be back by the afternoon. I’ll firm up my plans soon and let you know? Maybe we can work something out for after your plans? :-) Ha ha, no you haven’t missed my bday, it’s on Monday, thanks for asking. But my mom surprised me with the piano early. I’m having so much fun learning. I’m going to try and teach myself with some online stuff first and then take lessons, maybe later in the summer or fall. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you!!

  2. I have made Irish Soda Bread several times and even have a recipe on my blog. it’s so easy to make yet very pleasant to eat. It’s one of my favourites. Thanks for sharing your version of the bread!

    1. Very neat! I’m eager to check out your recipe. I totally agree, so simple and satisfying. Thanks so much for commenting and visiting, Liz! :-)

  3. Hi Anita. haha yay! I am not the only one scared of baking bread. I have told myself many a time, that this is the year of overcoming my fear of bread baking! Well now, thanks to you, I just have to bake a loaf, and will try your method of skillet and cake pan, as I have no fancy bread tins at all. Your bread really looks so divine, and quite honestly wanted to cut a slice and slather it with some butter and jam :-) .
    Glad you have bonded with Henry, and I wish you many a good time with him. I believe it is never to late to learn. :-)
    I see you have a beautiful cat in your pic, Henry is going to serve as a nice resting place too :-) x

    1. Hiya Lynne! Oh thank you so much for your enthusiasm! I totally agree, bread baking is very intimidating. And to be honest, I was quite skeptical about this recipe, but it’s so tasty! The crust is crunchy and the inside is dense and a bit chewy in a good way. I ate some yesterday with soup and it was heaven! For sure, slathering it with butter and jam would be ideal. Mmm! If you try it out, I’d love to hear how it goes for you. Oh, I am so happy with Henry. He makes me smile every time I pass him in the living room. Ha ha, that’s my cat Noodles in the pic, and he has claimed that perch as his new spot. I think you’re absolutely right about it never being too late to learn. That’s what I keep telling myself as I practice “Twinkle Twinkle.” Happy St. Patrick’s Day and thanks so much for visiting! :-) xo

      1. Happy St Patrick’s Day to you too :-) Noodles is so cute, and oh yes I bet he has claimed that as his new perch. Cats are so amazing, with such characters :-) I definitely will be making your soda bread and will let you know how it goes. Thanks my friend and I love visiting :-) x

      2. Oh my goodness, yes! Noodles is all personality. Not much of a people person but he is so sweet with us. He sits on his new perch and watches my hands move, wondering what I’m doing no doubt, ha ha! Smiles until next time, mon amie! :-)

    1. Thanks so much and happy St. Patrick’s Day to you, Antonia! Hope you’re having a lucky day so far. :-)

  4. I love your nephews word, so cute! Wow a trip to London fun fun! Your latest novel is almost done as well. Such a fun post full of so many things that I had to smile. A new keyboard as well. Will you make videos of playing for us haha! Love this Anita!! xxx

    1. Ha ha, I’m so glad you liked Kiran’s quote, it always makes me chuckle too! I’m hoping the trip to London will be fun. I’m trying to focus on seeing and doing things I haven’t done before, so we’ll see. I’m sure I’ll Tweet and blog while I’m there to share with all you lovely blogger friends. :-) I love my keyboard so much! Do you play instruments in addition to signing? You know, I made a little video for my mom the other day. The only thank you she wanted was for me to learn to play “Happy Birthday.” Funny eh? I just might make more once I get better. Have you made more signing videos lately? Thanks so much for visiting! :-) xoxo

      1. I did play piano, I took lessons as a little kid. I haven’t played for years. Ok so when was your bday? I had a hard time scrolling down because my computer has been crazy slow, but I saw your mom got it for you for your bday???

      2. It’s so great that you took lessons as a kid. I wish I had too. My nephew is taking drums now and you can see how his little brain is like a sponge, he makes such progress in a short amount of time. I think it’s going to take me much longer, but I don’t mind, I’m enjoying all the little steps. Oh ha ha, my bday is on Monday, thanks for asking. :-) Yes, my mom surprised me this week with the keyboard as an early present. She felt bad for not getting me lessons as a kid, which made me feel bad, ha ha, typical right? Music is such a gift. But you know all about that! ;-)

      3. Thank you, Lynn! No way, you’re an Aries too? I should have known, ha ha! Happy happy birthday to you too! I hope we both get great weather to help us celebrate. xoxo

    1. Thanks so much! It didn’t last long and was fun to try out for the first time. I know I’ll bake it again soon. Ha ha, I’m glad you enjoyed my nephew’s little saying. :-) We think he’s pretty cute too! Thanks for dropping by!

      1. Oh thanks so much, we’re big fans of his! I love the little things he says, we call them “Kiri-isms,” ha ha. :-) Yes, it was my first attempt at soda bread and I’m so pleased that it turned out! Ciabatta next!! ;-)

  5. Anita I made your bread ! It was lovely. Now I am on a roll, and want to try it with half all purpose and also nutty wheat flour…I want to experiment :-) I am so happy. I feel I needed that to get me over my fear of bread making :-)

    Now, on another note, I know you are super busy with everything but, when you have a little time it you are keen, would you do the three day quote challenge? I have nominated you for it, but there is no pressure my friend. If you are keen just pop over to my site
    https://lynnesrecipetrails.com/2016/03/28/quote-of-the-day-challenge-day-one-3/ for the necessary details. It is nothing major, just a fun challenge.
    Take care my friend. x

    1. Hi Lynne! Oh wow, this is wonderful news!! I’m so glad that you had a chance to make the bread and that it turned out for you too. :-)!! I can’t wait to see how you experiment with the recipe. And another wow: thank you so much for nominating me for the quote challenge! I always love it when you post quotes. I would be honoured to participate and I really appreciate you thinking of me. Sorry for the delayed reply, I’ve been offline this weekend, trying to rest up a bit before the trip next week. :-) I hope you’ve had a wonderful Easter weekend and hope all us well on your side. xo

      1. Haha…now this is delayed. I am so behind on my blog reading and replies ! But thanks again for participating in the challenge, I love your quotes.
        All is great my side, and the Easter weekend went of well thank you. Enjoy the trip, I am sure you will have a fun time :-) x

      2. I’m so glad that you enjoyed Easter! No worries, I always fall behind in my replies, ha ha. Thank you, Lynne! :-) xo

  6. Anita, I have Irish in me from my mother’s side. I have never tried making this bread, but I have wanted to. So thank you for sharing the recipe! I will have to give it a try.

    Also, as for playing the piano, I wish you well. A few years ago my husband and I taught ourselves to play the drums. We spent the first year learning to read sheet music, counting the notes in each measure, and learning to keep time with a metronome. Now we can listen to songs and play along as two extra drummers. It is magical! I would have never dreamed that I would be playing the drums. It takes time and practice, as I am sure you already know. And it is so worth the time spent. It is such a rewarding endeavor! Good luck on fulfilling a dream!

    1. I’m so glad that you like the recipe! I’m so flattered that you want to try it out too, thank you! Please let me know how it goes. It was my first attempt at soda bread and I’m happy to report that it turned out well, so hopefully it will for you too. :-) And you play the drums?! That’s so cool! My nephew is a drummer too and going to his recitals a few times a year is a highlight for me. It’s inspirational that you and your husband were able to teach yourselves, it gives me hope! I find when I’m at the piano, I feel so calm and focused. It’s been a real blessing. I hope to start lessons after a while of teaching myself how to read music and all. My husband bought a used guitar the other day and wants to teach himself how to play too. Our running joke at the moment is about the family band slowly coming together! Thanks so much for visiting and sharing it made my day! :-)

      1. That is so awesome that your husband is interested in learning to play the guitar. There is something very magical that can happen when you play music with someone else. A family band would only multiply the wonder of this experience.

      2. Oh it’s so true! It would be amazing to share that with him. So far the guitar has stayed in its case, but I’m hoping that will change soon. If I keep practicing in front of him, maybe some good habits will rub off, ha ha! ;-)

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