St. Patrick’s Day has always been a very special holiday for me. Not because of the big, green hats that you can buy at the Dollar Store, or because a bunch of America wears green, or because it’s a day designated for getting drunk. It’s important because it reminds me of my grandmother. It’s a day that allows me to fully enjoy my Irish heritage. ❤ And while I’m not a huge fan of what St. Patrick, himself, actually did (killing and converting pagan tribes in the 5th century, when Christianity began to grow), I do enjoy the holiday for its acknowledgment of Irish culture.
My grandma loved her “Irishness” and I’m so grateful that she shared some of that with me. Irish culture brings me a huge sense of comfort and makes me feel like I’m “home”. I can’t describe it. There’s a huge sense of belonging that comes with Irish and Celtic culture for me. Perhaps it just makes me feel closer to her. But regardless of the reason, it’s incorporated into much of my life. For those who don’t know me, here are a few examples: The music I listen to mostly consists of Irish and Celtic artists. My room has a giant Celtic tapestry that hangs behind my bed. My door has a Triskelion on it (the famous Celtic symbol representing birth, life, and afterlife). Most blankets and sweaters I own have some sort of Celtic knotting. And one of my favorite foods is Irish cuisine. (A good shepherd’s pie and bread pudding are everything!) Irish and Celtic culture is so very much a part of my everyday lifestyle. And I don’t know if that’s because it reminds me of my grandma, or because I’ve subconsciously made it my responsibility to celebrate it in her honor. But no matter what the reason is, it brings me joy. 🙂 So while I may not wear crazy bright green clothes and plastic shamrock necklaces on St. Patrick’s Day, I do honor the day in my own way, the way I do all other Celtic holidays…by baking. ❤
This is a traditional Irish soda bread recipe I make every year. It hasn’t been passed down in my family or anything, I just love it very much. And hopefully one day, it will be passed down. ❤ It’s also quite easy! And you don’t even have to know anything about making bread! I hope you love this traditional bread as much as I do.
Irish Soda Bread
This is typically to be eaten as an appetizer before a meal, as a snack during the day, or even with breakfast. Some even eat it as a dessert! I eat it for breakfast but the lovely thing is that it has a wide varieties of ways to enjoy it. Happy baking!
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup raisins or currants
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda (hence where the name “soda bread” comes from!)
- 1 1/3 to 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into small pieces
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease large baking sheet (or place down parchment paper instead)
- Combine all but butter and buttermilk
- Cut in butter with 2 knives until mix resembles coarse crumbs
- Add buttermilk. Mix until slightly sticky dough forms.
- Transfer dough to baking sheet. Shape into an 8-inch round.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until bread is golden brown with a firm crust. (Don’t bake for too long or it’ll be super hard, crunchy and dry! This bread should have a crunch on the outside but still be soft on the inside.)
- Cool for 10 minutes. For a more breakfast-ey or dessert-like bread, drizzle each slice with honey for taste. Enjoy!
To all those of Irish descent and to all those who are not, have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day. ❤ Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona duit! 🍀