Years ago, we used to get home delivery of the local newspaper. Gradually I started to notice, not only a strongly liberal bias in the publication, but I would even say anti-Catholic! A nagging feeling to cancel the subscription kept haunting me, but then where would I clip my coupons from, since this was the main reason I received it, anyway? I was in a quandry. Then, I attended a dinner for our parish where the guest speaker was Fr. Benedict Groeschel, founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. He addressed my quandry head-on in his talk. He said he personally knew many of the editorial staff of said newspaper and that if anyone was supecting an anti-Catholic bias, they were absolutely right. Many of the writers were former Catholics with a bone to pick with the Church they had abandoned. I believe his exact words were "I wouldn't be caught dead reading that wretched rag!" Now it has become a joke between my husband and me whenever we see this paper... the "wretched rag".
What does any of this have to do with soda bread, you may be wondering? Well, I guess the one good thing that I ever got from that paper was my Irish soda bread recipe. Now, I know what I am about to say is bordering on blasphemy for anyone of even vague Irish descent to say publicly, but I can't stand that dry, crumbly, tasteless soda bread with the caraway seeds that is actually authentic, Irish soda bread. This recipe is more of a tea cake.. Irish soda bread for the feint of heart! But it is a keeper, and one the whole gang gobbles up. It will make four small loaves, or less if you use larger pans... you'll never go back to your mother's soda bread again. As a matter of fact, my sister-in-law just called me looking for her mother's recipe and guess what? I don't even have it anymore!
Don't those look yummy? What doesn't get eaten at dinner tonight will be toasted for breakfast! So here is the recipe if you want to cut those apron strings and and try something new.
Sweet Irish Soda Bread
6 1/2 c. flour 4 xl eggs
1 1/2c. sugar 1/2 c. corn oil
2 t. salt 2 t. vanilla
2 t. baking soda 3 c. buttermilk
2 t. baking powder 1 15 oz. box raisins
Prehaeat oven to 350. Grease loaf pans.
1. Mix dry ingredients together in large bowl.
2. In a separate bowl beat eggs, oil, vanilla and buttermilk. Add to flour mixture and stir well. Stir in raisins.
3. Divide batter into greased pans. Place pans on middle rack in preheated oven. Rotate pans halfway through cooking.
4. Bake for 45 min. or until tester comes out clean. Cool on rack for 15 minutes before removing from pans.