Roots

Feeling a little nostalgic this morning.  My mom is very proudly Irish, and every St. Patrick’s Day she bakes soda bread.  So every March, I’ll come home to discover a half loaf of traditional Irish soda bread wrapped in a plastic bag with a twisty tie left on my front porch.  Very sophisticated (sarcasm implied).

In truth, I love and appreciate my mom’s Irish pride.  She instilled it in me… hence my four month stint at UCC and my adoration of the country and all that it has to offer.  We even danced a jig/reel to my mom’s favorite Irish tune, “The Butterfly,” at my wedding (well, my mom knew what she was doing and I clumsily faked it but had a blast the whole time).  So needless to say after four months of school and two amazing adventures to the Emerald Isle, I love me my Irish heritage.

I kind of stumbled across this walk-through-my-ancestry because I wanted a savory coffee cake.  That wasn’t presenting itself in my search for recipes, but when I looked for a rosemary dish this popped up.  In seeing the rosemary and parmesan I immediately thought of my beautiful Italian roommates in Cork, oh so long ago (seriously about 26 years ago).  Their families sent gorgeous care packages to their daughters to remind them of the culinary brilliance that is Italian cuisine.  Treasures that I had never seen before as a naive, young Cali girl from Santa Barbara.  I was the beneficiary of these shipments and my roommates’ love and respect of good food.

So I guess this is my shout out to Ireland and Italy.  What better way to combine the two?

Rosemary Parmesan Soda Bread (recipe care of bakefromscratch.com)

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INGREDIENTS:  4½ cup (563 grams) all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons (24 grams) granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (2.6 grams) chopped fresh rosemary, 2 teaspoons (6 grams) kosher salt, 1½ teaspoons (7.5 grams) baking soda, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, 1¼ cups (125 grams) grated Parmesan cheese, 1¾ cups (420 grams) whole buttermilk, ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter (melted), 1 large egg (50 grams), 1½ teaspoons (9 grams) flaked sea salt

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, rosemary, salt, baking soda, and pepper. Stir in cheese. In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, melted butter, and egg. Gradually add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Knead dough just until ingredients are combined. On a lightly floured surface, shape dough into a ball. Place on prepared pan, pressing to flatten dough into a 7-inch circle, 1½ inches thick. With a sharp knife, score a shallow “X” on top of dough. Sprinkle with flaked sea salt. Bake until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes, loosely covering with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool on pan for 10 minutes.

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