My husband does not cook.
I mean, he does many things, but cooking is just not one of them.
Sometimes he tries. He will offer to cook. I begrudgingly say yes, (begrudgingly, only because I know what is coming.)
He starts to prepare. And then…it starts.
The questions. The many, many, many questions.
Questions so plentiful, you honestly feel that death would be better than one. more. question.
But another one comes. And another.
And so many more after that, you are ten times more exhausted then if you really would have done all the cooking yourself. Repeat this same process if he is at the grocery store. You get the picture.
Now, I am not insulting him. He would laugh if he read this because he knows it’s true. He owns it.
I mean, this is a man who cleans, does laundry and is almost 100% helpful in every other area of home life.
As I said before, cooking is just not one of them.
When I was a kid, one of my good friend’s dad…now he knew how to cook. Not only did Melissa’s dad cook, he loved to share his creations with you. He was one of those cooks that were truly happy when you ate. And ate. And ate. Oh, did I eat.
Cheesecake, pasta, salads…you name it, this guy made it. I remember having some of the best treats for snacks when we were really young, and devouring cold, delicious pasta from the fridge at three in the morning after a night out, when we were a tiny bit older.
So fast forward to adulthood and nights that would never last until three am, and I find myself thinking of some of his recipes from time to time.
My friend, who is also a great cook herself, has made some of his fabulous dishes over the years, one time even bringing me a large bowl of pasta and a loaf of fresh baked Irish soda bread when I had just had a baby. Talk about comfort food…yum.
The reason that this soda bread is so perfectly delicious is that it is so easy to make, doesn’t require yeast and has the most perfect golden brown crust when it comes out of the oven. Did I mention the inside of the bread is incredibly soft and tender with just the right amount of sweetness. The raisins are optional, but I would highly recommend not leaving them out. I don’t even like raisins, and I love them in this bread. Give it a try, you might decide you agree.
This recipe makes a big amount, (three loaves!) perfect for sharing with friends! Bake some up and make this St. Patrick’s day a little bit sweeter.
- 8 cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 tbsp baking powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp cream of tartar
- 3 eggs, beaten
- ¾ cup butter, melted
- 2 cups of raisins (I use a mix of regular and golden raisins)
- 1 quart buttermilk-divided
- Coarse sugar for sprinkling
- Butter for serving
- In a small bowl, place two cups of raisins and 2 cups of buttermilk.
- Microwave on high for 45 seconds.
- Let raisins sit and soak in the bowl while you are preparing the dough.
- Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a very large bowl.
- Add beaten eggs and melted butter.
- Stir with a fork.
- Add buttermilk and stir with a sturdy wooden spoon until batter is combined.
- Add raisins and buttermilk from soaking.
- Stir with a wooden spoon until raisins are incorporated.
- It will be lumpy looking.
- Pour evenly into three standard size loaf pans and smooth the top.
- Sprinkle coarse ground sugar on top.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.
- Check for doneness.
- If it still needs time, bake for longer in five minute increments until loaf is ready.
- Cool ten minutes in the pan.
- Turn out onto a wire rack and cool before slicing...if you can wait!
- Serve with soft butter.