Saturday, March 16, 2013

Irish Soda Bread

My last name is Flinn, which, according to Wikipedia (the end-all, be-all of sources), came from the Irish name "Ó Floinn."  I'm not really sure why the Americanized version of this name became Flynn, but I do know that I don't like it.  It's not that I have a problem with just throwing out the letters that were in the original name and adding in a random one (the "y"), but my problem is that no one knows how to spell my name.  It is always spelled wrong.  Like always, always.
Some people I know are really connected to their roots.  Like, they know things about their family history and genealogy, they go to festivals to celebrate their heritage, they probably even know facts about the country they came from.  I am not one of those people.  My genealogical knowledge stops at my great-grandmother.  But every year around St. Patrick's Day, I like to bring up the fact that, "I am Irish," and everyone else is just posing.  
The fact of the matter is, I know less about Ireland than you do, I'm sure of it.  I don't even know what traditional Irish food is.  I have never seen this green, rainy land I've read about.  I have no idea if leprechauns roam the streets of Dublin.  So whether or not this Irish Soda Bread is legit or not, is not really the point.  The point is that we all pretend like we're something we're not for a day, wear something that's kelly green, and drink "a pint."  

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Recipe from Aunt Betsy
4 c. flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/3 c. butter
2 c. raisins
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
1 egg

1.  Simmer raisins in a few tablespoons of water (3-4 Tbsp.).

2.  Combine all dry ingredients.

3.  Cut in butter and mix until it resembles cornmeal.

4.  Add raisins.  Stir to coat in flour (this keeps them from sinking to the bottom of the bread).

5.  Beat together buttermilk and egg then add to dry mixture.  Knead on floured surface about 10 times (do not overknead).  Separate dough in half and shape into rounds, for best results.  Cut cross in the top of each before baking (about 1/2 inch deep).

6.  Bake at 375˚ for 40 minutes.

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