As we negotiate the many trials and tribulations that make up a “lifetime,” traditions and symbols of home and security become even more important. I find that am more aware of and more appreciative of the poignant moments that make up memories. I recognize that as a child and, even as a young adult, I took many of the moments for granted.
As I mentioned on our Facebook page, I am on a quest for the “perfect” Irish Soda Bread recipe. Even discounting the cook’s impact on the result, I have tried several recipes, all of which are very good in their own way just not my “perfect.” I have a memory of a thick, warm, delicious, raisin laden slice of moist bread that was perfect with a cup of strong, hot tea. I know that memories play tricks and there is certainly a subjective component to perfect, but I am not deterred. I know what I loved as Irish Soda Bread and it was tied to fond memories of my earlier family life.
That said, I will share the results of my quest with you….
Late last night, as midnight approached, I was feeling a pull for Irish Soda Bread but was not quite willing to undertake the whole idea of baking a loaf from scratch. I was looking for something on the internet when it occurred to me to enter a random search for Irish Soda Bread. Lo and behold, I found a quick and easy recipe for Irish Soda Bread that can be made in a bread machine.
I love my bread machine. It makes fragrant and delectable loaves of warm, fresh bread with little or no effort. The ingredients are simple, staples I usually have at home, so I can make bread whenever the mood strikes. I did it. In a flash, I had the ingredients in the machine, kneading away and ready to turn into, yet another version of Irish Soda Bread.
This morning, a still warm loaf was waiting to be sliced and lathered with butter. This recipe is very good….really delicious but, sadly, it is not the one.
Never-the-less, here is my version (naturally I had to make some modifications) of the bread machine Irish Soda Bread recipe. Try it. It is easy, quick and very, very good.
As always, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your machine when adding the ingredients.
1 1/2 Cups Warm Water
2 Tb margarine or canola oil
2 Tb white sugar
1 tsp salt
4 1/2 cups bread flour
2 Tb Powdered milk
3 tsp Caraway seeds
2 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup white raisins
1/4 cup black raisins
1/4 cup craisins
Add the ingredients into the machine as instructed by the manufacturer of your machine. If your machine has a fruit bread setting, use that one. The basic bread setting will work also. If you want as darker crust, be sure and select the type on your machine’s settings. Add the fruit as required by your machine.
This recipe makes one, two-pound loaf of bread. Slice and enjoy warm with butter.