The Heart of New England
Traditional Irish Breads

Irish Soda Bread
Buttermilk Scones
Treacle Farl

by Meg Kupiec
The Inn of the Tartan Fox,
Swanzey New Hampshire

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One of the best things about traditional Irish breads is their sheer simplicity.
Made from very ordinary ingredients, they are moist and flavorful. Scones,
Treacle Farl and Soda Bread are made with ingredients that are most likely
found in every kitchen. These breads are made with baking powder or baking
soda instead of yeast, so they take only minutes to go from mixing bowl to
oven to table. Spread with butter and jam, they are delicious for breakfast,
morning coffee break or afternoon tea. We serve them often at our bed and
breakfast, especially in March in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

Here are three recipes for our favorite traditional Irish breads:

Irish Soda Bread

3 cups flour, well stirred
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chopped raisins or currants
1 ½ cups buttermilk

Stir together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Stir in the raisins. Add the buttermilk and stir til the dry ingredients are
moistened. Do not over mix. Divide in half, turn into greased baking pan and
bake at 350 degrees about 25 minutes. Remove from pan and cool.

Buttermilk Scones

2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
11/2 tsp baking powder
½ baking soda
¼ tsp salt

Stir together in medium mixing bowl 5-6 tablespoons butter or margarine. Cut
into flour mixture. At this point you can stir in 1/4 cup of any kind of chopped
dried fruit, grated fresh apple, chopped cranberries, blueberries, some nuts or
whatever else you might like to try.

In separate small bowl combine:
1 large egg
½ cup buttermilk
11/2 tsp vanilla
Beat egg, then mix in buttermilk and vanilla.
Stir into flour mixture, don’t over mix, but do combine thoroughly.

On a floured surface, divide the dough in half, then pat into a circle. Brush with
a little egg wash, sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar, score with large knife into
wedges, slide on to ungreased baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes at 400.
Serve with warm with butter or jam.

Treacle Farl

Treacle is a dark flavoring similar to molasses, which we use in this recipe.
“Farl” comes from medieval Scottish that means the fourth part. This bread is
baked in 4 wedges.

4 cups flour
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup butter, diced
1 3/4 cups (approx) buttermilk
2 tablespoons dark molasses

Preheat oven to 425. Combine first 5 ingredients in large bowl.  Add butter and
cut in until mixture resembles small peas. Whisk molasses into 1 cup
buttermilk. Mix buttermilk into dry ingredients. Gradually mix in enough
remaining buttermilk to form a soft dough.  Turn out onto a lightly floured
surface and knead a few turns to hold dough together.  Do not over mix. Pat
into an 8 inch round. Cut into 4 wedges, place on baking sheet, spaced slightly
apart. Bake until deep golden brown, about 30 minutes.
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