Lulu’s Irish Soda Bread

St Patrick’s day to me conjures up many fun memorable moments. As a kid it was the St Patrick’s Day parade in NYC, wearing all green even down to the elastic in my hair. Trying to find a four leaf clover in our grass, and calling my cousin Patty Powers Smith to say Happy Birthday!

My father always wearing his green hat from Ireland, which now proudly sits a top the bust on my bar in the living room.

Memories are travels for the soul.

Lulu’s Irish Soda Bread
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 3/4 cups cold buttermilk,
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup julienned apricots
½ cup crystalized ginger

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer add the butter and the flour mixture on low speed until the butter is mixed into the flour. With a fork, lightly beat the buttermilk and the egg in a measuring cup. With the mixer on low, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture.
Now add the cranberries, apricots and crystalized ginger. Mix to combine.
The mixture may seem a bit wet but dump the dough onto a well-floured board and knead it a few times into a round loaf. You may want to make 2 smaller loaves out of your dough. Place the loaf or loaves on the prepared sheet pan with parchment paper.
Optional: Brush with egg wash: 1 tsp milk and 1 whole egg mix with fork. This will make your loaf shiny.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.
Ideas: All divine!
Serve warm with butter.
Eat plain.
Toast and put a triple creme brie on it with a drizzle of truffle honey.

My favorite butter to use at the moment it Kerrygold. Smother a warm piece of fresh bread with this butter and it is heaven.