Each year St. Patrick’s Day in our family, like most Irish-American families, is a big deal. As I mentioned last year the wild and crazy leprechauns come and play a trick on the kids (and no, two-days before St. Patrick’s Day I still have no idea what mischief they plan on causing). This year, St. Patrick’s Day has a different tone than it usually does. Typically, we gather at my in-law’s home and enjoy each other’s company and partake in some merriment for a leisurely afternoon that consists of a feast of corned-beef and cabbage, along with a gluten-free Irish Soda bread that my father-in-law makes. This year however, with our move to North Carolina just 2.5-weeks away, we knew this year was to be our last St. Patrick’s Day in Rhode Island.
Instead of gathering in cheer at my in-law’s home, we instead gathered at our home, where I cooked the meal (three cheers for the Polish girl cooking an Irish feast). The overall mood was a bit more subdued than usual—the writing clearly on the wall that our days, where we easily gathered for a family dinner on a whim, were in fact numbered. Next year, instead of sharing a meal of “Irish chicken” with my in-laws, we will likely just gather as a family of four, in a small intimate meal…waiting for those pesky leprechauns to fool us again.
As I was hosting our final St. Patrick’s gathering, the making of Irish soda bread fell to me. I’ve made one in the past—however, it was gluten-filled, as it was in my pre-Paleo days. I decided to wing it and give it a shot, going by feel…somehow the dough felt just right when I placed it in the cake pan to bake. The result was a bread that, while not as light as the one I used to make years ago, remained fairly true to the flavor that my father-in-law’s gluten free bread does year after year.
We sat as a family, and broke bread—sharing a meal that will always bind us together no matter how many tables (or miles) it may be split across. Each time I make this Irish soda bread in the future, I will think fondly of our last St. Patrick’s Day here at home. In Rhode Island…”and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”
In a bowl mix together your dry ingredients, sifting the almond flour to ensure it is lump free.
Add your eggs, honey, and vinegar to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly with your hands, ensuring that you incorporate all the ingredients, carefully forming a ball.
Gently fold in the raisins to the dough. Form into a 6-inch round disk, approximately 1.5" tall.
Place dough in a 6" round cake pan lined with parchment paper. A cookie sheet would work just as well in this situation.
Bake in a 325-degree oven for approximately 15-20 minutes depending on your oven until the center is cooked through.
I typically would use baking powder in a baking recipe, however baking powder is not Paleo (check out The Paleo Mom's blog for an explanation). Instead, I opted to use a small amount of cider vinegar in my mix. Think back to high school chemistry class--remember what happens to baking soda when you add vinegar to it? It rises and expands--my theory us that this gives your dough a similar effect and helps to leaven the soda bread without using baking powder.
By Dani at Fit Moms & Full Plates (fitmomsfullplates.com)
Fit Moms & Full Plates http://www.fitmomsfullplates.com/