What's on the menu at your homeschool this St. Patrick's Day? Thinking about experiencing a bit of Irish history and culture this year by serving some savory Irish stew, shepherd's pie, or the ever-popular corned beef and cabbage? Whatever food entrée sounds appealing at your house on March 17, nothing will complement it better than some easy-to-make, mouth-watering Irish soda bread.

Although versions with sugar and raisins have evolved over the years, the best-tasting Irish soda bread recipe to include with your St. Patrick's Day celebration meal is still the old fashioned one below that only includes the basic ingredients. Crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside, this kid-friendly recipe doesn't take any luck of the Irish to make. Simply head to the kitchen with your family, schedule a homeschooling lesson in bread baking, and enjoy the fun of making and eating this round loaf of traditional Irish soda bread.


INGREDIENTS

3 cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp baking soda
1½ tsp salt
1½ cups buttermilk

For basting
¼ cup buttermilk
¼ cup butter (melted)

DIRECTIONS

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350º.

Step 2: Stir the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

Step 3: In the center of the bowl, make a "well" and add one cup of the buttermilk.

Step 4: Mix the dry ingredients and buttermilk with a fork and gradually add the remaining ½ cup of buttermilk until a soft dough is formed.

Step 5: On a floured surface, knead the dough lightly for about one minute and form the dough into a slightly flattened circle.

Step 6: Place the dough on a greased cookie sheet and lightly baste the bread with the buttermilk and butter mixture.

Step 7: With a sharp knife, mark a large X one half inch deep and bake the soda bread in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes. Continue to lightly brush the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes. The bread is done baking when it is golden and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.