my father's side of the family is from ireland ... with a last name like dougherty you would have to know that. so this past st. patty's day i went to a corned beef and cabbage dinner put on by my pastor. several ppl contributed something, but i decided i needed to contribute traditional irish soda bread.
what most of us think of as soda bread isn't really traditional soda bread -- its more like a cake. true irish soda bread has no sugar or eggs or fruit of any kind. it's basically flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk. and this is exactly what i used.
i rolled out the dough on my enameled table (see story below), and used my flour wand (that metal contraption on the table which is used to lightly flour the surface) and baked the bread on my pampered chef stone cookie sheet...
when it was done it wasn't pretty but it was a heavy dense bread and i just knew it would be awesome for sopping up the juices from the corned beef and cabbage.
the best part was when we all sat down to eat together -- many of us had irish roots and being able to break bread together was so much fun. there were lots of stories told, lots of laughs and that made for an incredible st. patty's day experience!