Friday, March 17, 2017


 I know Pekes are from China-- but they can still celebrate an Irish holiday!  Snuffles above loves his green bow tie!
 Jules has her St. Patrick's Day ribbons in-- shamrocks for sure!
 Her sister Pearl has hers in to celebrate, too.
 This is an old picture-- Lottie, Bailey and Cranberry were all spiffed up for St. Patrick's Day in 2008.   Can it be that long ago?   They are all gone now, but weren't they cute!!
 And here's Magnolia-- her mom, Fiona, is Irish and so Magnolia has on her green necklace to celebrate.  I asked her mom what she did for St. Patrick's Day and she said that her mom would always make cooked green cabbage, mash it and then fry it up with bacon, corned beef, and roasted potatoes.   They had baked apples for dessert and soda bread or scones for breakfast/lunch.  YUM!  I'm showing up at her house tonight for dinner!!
I think Magnolia would be okay with me showing up-- wouldn't you girl?   I was her foster mom, so I guess I can get dinner today haha.
 Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Fiona sent me her Irish Soda bread recipe, and she said I could share it.  It's from Cook's Illustrated-- enjoy!!  It's addictive!
Irish Soda Bread  From Cook’s Illustrated
3 cups all purpose flour (I use King Arthur bread flour)
1 cup plain cake flour (King Arthur or Swan’s Down both work fine)
2 tablespoons sugar
1.5 teaspoons baking soda
1.5 teaspoons cream of tartar
1.5 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sweet butter, softened, plus 2 tablespoons melted to brush on the
 crust when baked.  Unsalted KerryGold butter from Ireland is great. : )
1.5 – 2 cups of buttermilk   - butter milk is best, but you can fudge it with milk mixed with plain yogurt, about 1.5 c milk, ½ c plain yogurt or sour cream – bread will be crustier, denser. I usually need the full 2 cups, but if it’s humid, a little less.

“Official” recipe:
Heat oven to 400F degrees.  Whisk the flours, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar,  & salt together in a large bowl.
Work the softened butter in with fork or fingertips until the texture resembles coarse crumbs.
Add 1.5 c buttermilk and stir with fork or wooden spoon until dough comes together. If dough is too dry, add more buttermilk.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface, and gently knead just until the dough is cohesive and bumpy, 12 – 14 turns. Avoid over kneading, as the bread will be tough.
Pat the dough into a round shape, place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Score a cross in the top of the dough with a sharp knife.
Bake until the loaf is golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean, or internal temperature is 180F, about 40-45 minutes.
Remove loaf from oven, brush top with melted butter and cool on wire rack.

Fiona’s recipe modifications:
Same ingredients, but I bake it in a cast iron Dutch oven.
Preheat Dutch oven in a 500F oven. Prepare bread dough while oven heats.  I usually need to use the full two cups of buttermilk, but in more humid weather, a bit less. I knead the bread very gently in the bowl until it takes on a cohesive form. If it’s sticky, I add a bit more flour until it doesn’t stick to the bowl. I pat it into a nice roundish shape.
Take hot Dutch oven out very carefully, lift off lid and put bread dough in – it won’t stick, don’t worry, but if you’d like to use some parchment that’s fine too.  *It’s easier to score it after plopping it into the Dutch oven.
Carefully put lid back on and return to oven.  Lower temperature to 475 for 20 – 30 minutes.  I play with this timing a bit – depends on the oven.
Remove lid – bread should be light golden brown.  Lower temp to 425.  Leave in oven with lid off for another 5 – 10 minutes until internal temp is 180F, or deep golden brown.  Remove from oven.
Use mitts and wooden spoon or spatula to carefully remove bread from Dutch oven onto a wire rack to cool.  It’s much easier to slice when it’s cool, if you can wait.
I brush the crust with melted butter with some sugar and almond extract mixed into it. Orange or vanilla extract is good too, and so is a little sprinkle of ground cloves or whatever you like.

Bread freezes well!

1 comment:

LadyJicky said...

As Coco's mother has Irish forebears....... she is downing a pint of Green Guinness Stout, dunking her Irish Soda Bread dog biscuits in her bowl of Irish stew and doing a Irish Jig at the same time!!! Too be sure to be sure !!!!!!!