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This year Bob and I have plans to go out on St. Patrick’s Day so there will be no St. Patrick’s Day tablescape from DishingwithDiane- sorry. I am too busy running around and quite honestly, I ran out of time.
Instead, I wanted to share with you my recipes for two traditional holiday breads this time of year.
For St. Patrick’s Day, celebrated on March 17th — I made Irish Soda bread with caraway seeds and lots of raisins. One of Bob’s favorites. I will be serving this with apples and Kerrygold (love that brand) aged cheddar.
Here is the recipe I use for Irish Soda bread from Melissa Clark at the NY Times…
- Butter for greasing pan plus 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 ½teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ¾ cups buttermilk
- 2 eggs, well beaten
- 1 ½ cups raisins or currants
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
- Good aged Cheddar cheese, for serving
- Tart apples, cut into slices, for serving
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-inch oven-proof skillet and line with parchment or waxed paper.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just combined. Do not over-mix. Stir in the raisins or currants and caraway seeds.
- Pour batter into skillet. Brush top with remaining butter. Bake until golden and firm to touch, about 1 hour. Cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving with Cheddar and apples.
For St. Joseph’s Day, celebrated on March 19th — I made St. Joseph Day Bread with anise seeds (which gives the bread a mild licorice flavor). This is one of my favorites.
This bread is usually part of the St. Joseph’s Day altar (or table ) to honor St. Joseph. Each year my grandmother served this bread along with other traditional foods for this day such as minestrone soup, fava beans and bucatini pasta in a garlic, oil, and anchovy sauce ( before you even think it, it is not fishy) topped with toasted bread crumbs.
If you want to read more about this holiday and want additional recipes,
here is my link to a previous St. Joseph Day post
Here is the recipe I use for St. Joseph’s Day Bread from the website, Mangia Bene Pasta
(Makes 1 loaf – approx. 18-inches in length)
2/3 cup warm milk, 105 – 115 degrees F.
1 (1/4-ounce) package dry active yeast
3 cups bread flour, divided
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 teaspoon anise seed or 1 teaspoon anise extract
Egg wash: 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water
Stir the yeast into the warm milk and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Pour the yeast mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add 1 cup of flour, sugar, salt, and melted butter. Beat the mixture with the paddle attachment for 2 minutes. Add the eggs, anise seed or extract, and another cup of flour.
Beat for 2 more minutes.
Change from the paddle attachment to a dough hook. Add the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough starts to come together. You may not need to add all of the flour. Then allow the dough hook to knead the dough on medium for 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Punch the dough down and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 20 – 22-inch rope. Place the 2 ropes on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Loosely twist the ropes together, tucking the ends under. Cover and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 – 40 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Brush the loaf with the eggwash and sprinkle liberally with sesame seeds.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
I hope you enjoy both the recipes and the holidays with your family and friends. Until my next post, make everyday a celebration!
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