IRISH FRECKLE BREAD#BREADBAKERSHAPPY ST.PATRICK'S DAY
Isn't it wonderful to be part of cooking groups where one can learn not only about cooking about also about different cultures and festivals. So,though I've heard about St. Patrick's Day and know that the Irish celebrate it, I've till today never really bothered to find out what the festival is all about. So there I was sitting at the computer and asking Mr. Google all the hows and whys of this festival.
So my understanding is that St.Patrick's Day is celebrated by the Irish world over on 17th March every year.St.Patrick the patron saint of Ireland died on 17th March.He was not Irish but came from Britain. He was kidnapped by Irish raiders and lived in captivity for 6 years. He went back to Britain and came back to Ireland to preach Christianity.What began as a religious feast day in the 17th Century has evolved into a celebration of the Irish culture globally with parades, special music and dance,food and wearing green.
It is believed that St.Patrick introduced Christianity to Ireland.Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon.It is believed that St.Patrick used the 3 leaves of the Irish clover, Shamrock to explain the 3 Trinity (Father, Son and the Holy Spirit).
During the Potato Famine close to 1 million Irish emigrated to America. Parades to mark St. Patrick's Day were begun by the Irish in America. St. Patrick's colour was blue and not green. Initially the Irish Catholics wore the Shamrock emblem to symbolise their faith. Green was associated to the Emerald green land back home and also the colour of the Shamrock. Green was associated to the Irish Revolution. People started wearing green during St.Patrick's Day and till today Green is the main colour that one sees in parades, clothing, celebrations, food etc
To celebrate St. Patrick's Day our co member of the group Wendy Klik , blogger at A Day in the Life on the Farm asked us to share our favourite Irish bread--- sweet, colored, rainbow, rye, or soda. Green bread didn't sound that appealing so the tussle was between a soda bread and a sweet bread made using potato. Irish freckle bread won(I love sweet breads). Thank you Wendy for encouraging me through your theme to widen my knowledge about the Irish culture.
The bread is called an Irish Freckle Bread because of the raisins/currants/ cranberries that are sprinkled through out the bread. Must admit mine after baking the loaf looked like all one sided rather than scattered. Oh well, as long as the bread tasted delicious. The loaf overall was deliciously sweet, soft and tasted even better when toasted. Don't forget the tonne of butter on the toast (not that I can get that now, do you know that at the moment there is no butter in the supermarkets in Kenya because of the severe drought). Just as well I had baked the bread a week ago!
Makes 1 loaf
1 small potato-peel and cut into quarters
¾ cup water
2½ - 3 cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
2 tsp instant dry active yeast
½ cup dark raisins, currants or cranberries
4-5 tbsp sugar
½ tsp salt
50g butter melted and cooled
- Boil the potato in the ¾ cup water till done.Remove the cooked potato from the water.
- Keep the potato water on the side till required.
- Let the potato cool and then mash it.
- Put 1½ cup flour, yeast, sugar, salt, mashed potato and ½ cup of potato water in a mixing bowl.
- Beat the mixture together till you get a smooth batter.
- Cover the bowl with cling film or a wet tea towel and let the batter become all puffy for 1-1½ hours.
- Stir down the batter.
- Add the beaten egg, butter and raisins. Mix well.
- Add remaining flour ½ cup at a time till it becomes a soft elastic dough ball.
- Dust the worktop with some flour and turn out the dough.
- Knead till it becomes smooth (about 10-15 minutes).
- There are three ways to shape the dough:
b)Divide the dough into two equal parts. Roll each into a ball. Place the balls side by side in the prepared tin.
c) Divide the dough into 8 equal parts. Roll each part into a ball. Place the balls in a round tin. The bread will look like a crown.
13. Prepare the tin (loaf tin 8½" X 4½"). Grease it lightly with butter. If you're making the crown shape then get a 8-9" round tin ready.
14. Let the shaped dough rise again for 45-50 minutes.
15. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
16. Bake the bread for 35-40 minutes, till the top is golden brown and the bottom when tapped sounds hollow.
17. If the top begins to brown too quickly, cover it with some foil.
18. Remove the bread from the oven and cool it on a wire rack.
19. Enjoy the bread toasted or with some jam/marmalade and tea or coffee.
Check out what other Bakers have made to celebrate St. Patrick's Day:
- Apple, Beer, and Cheddar Soda Bread by A Baker's House
- Blaa by Sara's Tasty Buds
- Caraway Rye Soda Bread by A Salad For All Seasons
- Carrot and Dillisk Bread by A Shaggy Dough Story
- Cheddar and Herbs Soda Bread by Ambrosia
- Currant Drop Scones by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Egg Free Irish Raisin Tea Scones by Gayathri's Cook Spot
- Four leaf Clover Rolls by Cook's Hideout
- Guinness Bread Rolls by The Bread She Bakes
- Guinness Buckwheat Bread by Baking Sense
- Irish Amber Ale Pretzels by Cindy's Recipes and Writings
- Irish Barmbrack by The Schizo Chef
- Irish Freckle Bread by Mayuri's Jikoni
- Irish Freckle Bread by Passion Kneaded
- Irish Multigrain Bread by What Smells So Good?
- Irish Soda Bread by Herbivore Cucina
- Irish Soda Bread by Sneha's Recipe
- Irish Soda Bread Scones by Spill the Spices
- Irish Soda Buttermilk Bread by Sizzling Tastebuds
- Oat and Potato Bread by Karen's Kitchen Stories
- Potato Clover Leaf Rolls by Spiceroots
- Soda Bread Farls by Food Lust People Love
- Soft Wheat Irish Soda Scones with Raisins (Spotted Dog) by The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Super Easy Potato Roll Recipe by Hostess At Heart
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to email@example.com.