By Chef Joey
Little is known about St. Patrick’s lifeline, but it is sort of narrowed down to the second half of the 5th century – that’s a long time ago, for sure. What is known about this saint is he was born in what is now called Great Britain. His first name was Sucat, and he was kidnapped around 16 years of age by pirates.
He was a slave to these Irish pirates for about six years. He managed to escape and get back to his family.
He became a cleric and took the name Patrick, which means nobleman, and decided to return to northern and western Ireland. Following his own path, he eventually became an ordained Bishop. Unfortunately, not much is known about the places he worked. He does get credited for bringing Christianity to the island and for being the first Bishop of Armagh. So Patrick is known as the “Apostle of Ireland” – he is the patron saint of Ireland, out-shining poor Brigit and Columbia.
What makes his day so special?
It is actually the day of his death. Patrick was so sacred it took two centuries to celebrate because it was a sacrilege to mention his name! Well, the real reason, I believe, is that it falls during Lent, and the Catholics lifted the restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol for the day. This religious miracle has promoted and encouraged the tradition of over-consumption!
There’s more, however, to the St. Patrick’s Day holiday than drinking. Eating is a big part of the celebration. And what meal goes without bread?
Joey sent us this Irish soda scone! We’ll take it! Cuz anything Chef Joey bakes is AWESOME!
So here is an Irish “Soda Bread” to whet yer whistle!
It is actually a quick bread. Its roots go back far … . By mixing cake or pastry flour, baking soda and buttermilk, you cause a chemical reaction and make bubbles in the bread!
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter softened
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup buttermilk
Optional 1 cup Soaked Raisins
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and margarine.
Stir in 1 cup of buttermilk and egg.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly.
Soak the raisins in warm water for a half hour and drain them and add to the mixture, if desired.
Form dough into a round and place on prepared baking sheet.
In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk. Brush loaf with this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an ‘X’ into the top of the loaf.
Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes.
Check for done-ness after 30 minutes.
You may continue to brush the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes.