Confession: I don't really enjoy holidays very much. It's not just the consumerism aspect. It's the cutesy aspect. Everything's so damn cute and festive. I'm not a particularly grumpy person. I'd call myself cheerful, actually. But cute and festive I am not. And I'm ok with that.
I do, however, love the color green, and I love clovers, and, ahem...beer. And Irish car bombs. So I do have a little more fun celebrating St. Patrick's day than say...Valentine's Day. I'm glad they're almost back to back. I love replacing hearts with clovers for the hot second that disappears before Easter pastels take over.
And this year my kids, who I'm going to refer to as Rainbow (my almost four year old daughter) and Cloud (my two and a half year old son), are old enough to do a few more crafty things than they've been able to. So as we finished off our second pint of Guinness...
Just kidding. Cloud loves beer, but since I'm pregnant, we're not drinking that much these days...
This year I decided we'd try a recipe! It's called Irish Gold Soda Bread. I found the recipe at Apples4theTeacher, but modified it a bit. The Gold comes from the golden raisins that are in the recipe. Think Gold at the end of the rainbow. For funsies. Raisins are not typical for Irish Soda Bread.
I didn't want to have a ton of bread laying around, so I made half for myself and the family, and I gave a quarter each to the kids to play with. It was a bit tricky doing the measurements, but this is what worked for us:
- Large 1 3/4 c. flour for me, very scant 1 c. flour for each kid
- 1/8 c. brown sugar for me, 1/16 c. for each of the kids (this was actually pretty easy because since brown sugar is supposed to be packed into the measuring cup, I just cut it in half with a knife, took out my half, cut the remaining half in half and gave each kid one portion)
- 1/2 Tbsp. baking powder for me, 1/4 Tbsp. for each kid
- Very scant 1/2 tsp. baking soda for me, very scant 1/4 tsp. for each kid
- 1/2 c. golden raisins for me, 1/4 c. purple raisins for Cloud (he loves them, won't touch the golden ones) and none for Rainbow (ew!, she says, I'm not a raisin kind of girl!)
- 2 C of buttermilk
- 1 egg
For the buttermilk and the egg, I first measured out the buttermilk, added the egg, whisked it in completely, then measured out 1/2 c. of what was in the bowl for each kid and took the remainder for myself. I really didn't want to have to divide up an egg into...bits.
Then we followed the directions mostly as they were posted. My modifications are after the asterisks. **
- Allow the oven to heat up to 375 degrees. **We preheated and started preparations immediately. Cooking with kids always takes longer.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. **We used a silicone liner . It's awesome.
- Place the flour into a large mixing bowl. **I had the large bowl. Each kid had a smaller one. I just don't have three large mixing bowls.
- Dump in the brown sugar, baking powder and baking soda and toss to combine well.
- Fold in the raisins until incorporated into the dry mixture well.
- Pour the buttermilk into a separate small bowl.
- Break the egg into the buttermilk and whisk until completely combined.
- Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until all the ingredients are incorporated together and soft dough has formed.
- Flour a flat surface lightly and transfer the dough to the surface.
- Knead the dough 10 times or until the dough is pliable and smooth. **10 times was about right for us, but Cloud's got a little extra love.
- Form the dough into a large mounded round. **The mounds were small. For reference, later in the blog I have my hand, which isn't that big, over my larger loaf to show how big it is. I'd call it a nice size, nice enough to not overdose on Irish Gold Soda Bread.
- Place the dough on the prepared cookie sheet and use a sharp knife to cut a shallow X in the middle of the mound.
- Bake the bread for 45 minutes or until browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. **I started the baking all together on one cookie sheet. I pulled the kids' loaves out at about 25 minutes and I pulled mine out at 35 minutes. I'd call them perfect.
And that's it. Pretty fun. Very tasty with butter. Exponentially more so. Stay tuned for more St. Patrick's Day activities...just don't get your hopes up for good Easter ones. :)