Looking for a quick and easy recipe to celebrate your Irish roots on St. Patrick’s Day? This family favorite, first published in the PG in 2007, made its way into my recipe book via my mother-in-law, Catherine. It was handed down from her mother, Nellie Kerrigan Foy, who was born in Bundoran, County Donegal, in 1892.
My favorite way to eat it is right out of the oven, while it’s still warm, slathered with butter. But it also makes a good afternoon snack and is great for sopping up the juices from beef stew.
I use half golden and half dark raisins, but you could use only one or the other, or even substitute dried cranberries. In a pinch, you can make your own buttermilk by adding 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup of milk, and letting the mixture stand for 10 minutes until it curdles.
- 2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 cup seedless raisins, half dark and half golden
- Approximately 1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheet.
In large bowl sift flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in softened butter with pastry blender or fork until it looks like fine crumbs. Add raisins. Add buttermilk, starting with a little less than a cup, and mix with fork only until dry ingredients are moistened, adding additional milk as needed to get the right consistency.
Turn out on lightly floured board and knead gently about 1 minute. Shape in a ball and place on cookie sheet; flatten into a 7-inch circle (dough will be about 1½ inches thick) and press a large floured knife into center halfway through to the bottom. Repeat at right angle to form a cross.
Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until top is golden brown and loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
Remove to wire rack to cool. Optional: Melt another tablespoon of butter and pour over the top.