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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

This is one of my favorite days of the year! I love to celebrate Ireland and the country that welcomed me with open arms when I spent time over two summers excavating an Early Medieval ringfort in County Clare. I miss the country and my friends so much, and I hope we’ll be able to plan a trip again soon.

Besides the beauty of the country and the wonderful people, I miss the food the most! I used to eat wheaten bread with just about every meal. An Irish friend recommended Cathal Armstrong’s recipe as a way I could make my favorite bread at home (side note: for those readers in the D.C. area, don’t miss his restaurant, Restaurant Eve–one of the best dining experiences of my life!)

Below is Armstrong’s recipe with my adaptations. I’ve found that, when placed in an airtight container, you can enjoy this bread for up to three days after baking–if you manage not to consume it all at once! I love to start the day with a slice buttered with some Kerrygold 🙂

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2-3/4 cups buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Step 1
Preheat the oven to 375°. Prepare your baking surface (either a baking sheet, if you’re baking the bread in the round, or your loaf pan if you’re baking a traditional loaf.)

Step 2
In a large (VERY large!) bowl, whisk the flour with the baking soda and sea salt. In a smaller bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the egg. Stir the wet ingredients with the dry with a wooden spoon until a dough begins to form.

Step 3
Transfer the dough to a flour work surface and knead the dough until it is smooth.

Step 4
Form the dough into a round and place on your baking surface. Cut a cross or “X” in the middle of the dough, being careful not to cut all the way through. This causes the heat to penetrate through the bread, allowing the bread to rise and expand. Traditionally, cutting a cross into the bread was believed to protect the household against devils and demons. This also allows the bread to be easily broken into four sections!


Carefully place the dough into your loaf pan and ensure it is evenly spread in the pan.

Step 5
Bake the bread for about 50 minutes. The loaf should sound hollow when you rap on the bottom. Let cool for a few minutes, then enjoy!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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