Irish soda bread contests and recipe for St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day is approaching and Irish soda bread devotees get the opportunity to enter their favorite recipes in competition.

Irish soda bread recipes vary greatly and that is why a contest with taste testers can help cut through the clutter.

What's for dessert on St. Patrick's Day? What about Irish Potatoes? Easy mixing recipe, here.

Seattle, Washington

Check out the Irish Soda Bread contest at T S McHugh's at 1st and Mercer in Seattle.

It is sponsored by the Irish Heritage Club, the competition is dedicated to, "...preservation of the Traditional way of baking Soda Bread as it was done in Ireland in the 1800s."

The competition ends this Saturday March 9, 2013 and entries must be dropped off that day from noon to 1:30 p.m. The judging begins at 2:00 p.m. and the winner will be announced an hour later.

It's free to enter and there are three categories eligible for prizes. They are the traditional white Irish soda bread, the traditional brown soda bread and what's called the glorified Irish soda bread that allows for extra ingredients not included in the traditional recipes.

T S McHugh's will provide some dancing music while you wait for the results featuring the Baile Glas Irish Dancers. Link to entry form, here

Lake Oswego, Oregon

Maher's Irish Brew Pub located at 352 B Ave. in Lake Oswego is running their contest on Saturday March 16, 2013

Entries will be accepted at the pub until 12:30 p.m. and the winner will be announced at 3:00 p.m.

There is no entry fee and the categories to be judged are the same as those at the T S McHugh competition: traditional white, traditional brown and glorified Irish soda bread.

Maher's provides a very specific directive on its contest website about the ingredients in the traditional soda bread. They are all about purity and not including things like honey, sugar, eggs, raisins, or even caraway seeds. Link to entry form, here

One traditional recipe for Irish soda bread from Epicurious.com contains no raisins or caraway seeds ---att: Maher's Irish Brew Pub!

Ingredients:

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons caraway seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon baking-soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (about) buttermilk

Directions: Mix flour, caraway seeds, if using, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Mix in enough buttermilk to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball. Turn out onto lightly flour surfaced and knead just until dough holds together, about 1 minute. Shape dough into 6-inch-diameter by 2-inch-high round.

Place on prepared baking sheet (lightly floured) in oven pre-heated at 425 degrees. Cut 1-inch-deep X across top of bread, extending almost to edges. Bake until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on bottom, about 35 minutes. Transfer bread to rack and cool completely.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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