Irish Breads

Soda Bread
1/2 kg or 1 lb plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sugar (optional)
2 cups or 1/2 liter or 1 pint buttermilk

Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda and sugar into a large bowl. Aerate by scooping handfuls up and down in the bowl. Add enough buttermilk to mix into a soft dough. Working quickly, knead lightly and form into a rounded shape the size of a clenched fist. Place on a lightly floured baking sheet and on the top cut a cross, using a floured knife. Immediately place near the top of a preheated oven (230 C/ 450 F/ gas mark 8) and bake for 30-45 minutes. To test if the bread is ready, knock on the bottom, which should sound hollow. Cool, then wrap in a tea towel. Serve for breakfast or tea.

Herbed Supper Scones
1/2 lb of mealy potatoes
4 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp oil
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/4 tsp savory
1/4 tsp marjoram
1/4 tsp powered sage
additional oil for frying

Boil or bake the potatoes, then pass through a foodmill or mash well. Mix the flour, salt, oil & herbs with the potatoes. On a floured board, roll this dough to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Cut into triangles 3 or 4 inches wide. Fry in very hot oil on both sides until light golden. Drain and serve with butter and hot, sweet coffee with milk.

Irish Shortbread
8 oz butter
4 oz caster sugar
8 oz plain flour
2 oz cornflour

Cream butter and sugar into a smooth mixture. Add flour and cornflour and fold fours into mixture until blended but not over mixed. Lay the dough on a flat surface and cut into squares or rounds and bake at 300º F/150ºC/gas mark 2 until done.

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