I always make my great grandmother's Irish Soda Bread on this day. My great grandmother lived with my mom's family when my mom was a girl, and my mom fondly recalls time in the kitchen learning how to make this bread. I have the same fond memories with my mom and think of her and my grandmother's kitchen when I make it. In honor of the day, I thought I'd share my great grandmother's recipe. My uncle researched some family history, and I believe he determined she was from County Sligo.
Irish Soda Bread
4 cups sifted flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4-2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons oil
1 1/2 cups raisins
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sift together all the dry ingredients. Mix together the wet ingredients, using 1 3/4 cup of buttermilk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix. If the dough is too dry, add buttermilk until the dough is "rubbery". (I don't really know what that means, I just know you don't want the dough to be too sticky.) Add raisins and stir them into the dough. Bake for 45-60 minutes in a greased pan.
I use a 9" round cake pan and it takes the full 60 minutes in my oven. Don't use a smaller pan, it will take forever for the center to bake through.
I can't have a St. Patrick's Day post without an Irish Blessing, so I'll leave you with this:
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.