#12: Ireland – Irish Soda Bread

The simplest of breads-Irish Soda Bread!

My trip to Ireland in 2009 marked the kick off of the best promise I ever made to myself…that no matter what, I would make it a point to take an international trip each year. Even if I had no one to travel with or life seemed a bit too busy…I wouldn’t put off travel anymore. At that point in my life I had a steady job with a decent amount of vacation and a bit more money in my pocket so I was very ready to make this a reality. And that is a promise I’ve kept to myself every year since (though 2021 may be the year that breaks me, but hey a 12-year run is nothing to slouch out!

I spent 8 days in Dublin and Galway during this trip with my friend Jeanine. We of course made the obvious stops at the Guinness Factory, the Gaol in Dublin and made an attempt at seeing the Cliffs of Moher (though the fog foiled our efforts and we could barely even see the drop off of the cliff). As for food, there was a healthy amount of fish and chips on the menu and I recall that the best I had were at a place called McDonagh’s (still open! check them out here:http://mcdonaghs.net/) They were right down by the water so there was a great view and they were the right amount of fried. Still working to find a comparable fish & chips place in the DC area.

I’ve cooked Irish food before during an earlier challenge when I cooked a meal for friends each month based on a country I’d traveled to. For that dinner, I made Bangers & Mash but for this project, I decided to repeat the Irish Soda Bread I’d made previously. Soda Bread is hands down the easiest kind of bread to make, you don’t have to deal with yeast or long rises, or anything that makes bread more complicated to make. I returned to Ina Garten’s recipe for this for its familiarity and simplicity, but I imagine most recipes for this are similar. Here’s hers: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/irish-soda-bread-recipe-1949134

Overall Level of Effort: 1

Skill Level: Beginner

Would Make Again? Yes

Additional notes: If you want an easy bread to celebrate St Patrick’s Day or know someone who likes to put butter on a note too sweet bread in the morning as a breakfast treat, this is that bread. I’ve made this several times when I’ve had currants to use up or just feel like something different for breakfast.

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