A few weeks ago I was browsing through my recipe box. Do people even keep recipe boxes anymore? Honestly, I don’t think I’ve added anything to mine since the 90’s. My mother found it when she working at an elementary school. It’s a distressed looking stained wooden box. In it is a treasure of clippings of home recipes from newspapers and recipes from friends and things I grew up eating. That’s how it was done a million years ago. People exchanged recipes or submitted recipes to the newspaper in hopes of sharing their family recipes. There were no chefs writing for newspapers or magazines, nor where there cooking shows on TV except Julia Childs. It was all print media back in the day.
Nowadays, I find most things on the internet. I print them, and put them in a nice pile with hundreds of other recipes, waiting to be gently placed in a clear plastic sleeve and then organized in a three-ring binder. Some may call this pile a fire hazard, others, opportunities! It could happen. I need a snow day!
I scribbled across the lined note card “Irish Bread”. In no way is it Irish bread. I don’t know where I found it, but it is delicious. It’s more like a quick bread or a tea bread. The sprinkled sparkling sugar on top gives it a nice crunch. The pre-soaked raisins add some moisture. I have some cooking right now and cannot wait for a warm slice with a little bit of butter. Pure heaven.
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 ½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 stick of butter, melted and cooled slightly
¾ cup sugar
1 cup raisins
1 tbsp. caraway seeds (optional)
Place the flour, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. In a measuring cup, crack 2 large eggs (don’t break them up) and then fill with milk to the 1-cup measure line. Sometimes when you’re mixing, you need to add a splash more milk because large eggs aren’t always the same. Many things can impact baking such as humidity and different brands of flour.
Add the milk/egg mixture to the dry ingredients. Add the melted butter and sugar. Mix until batter is combined and thick. Add the raisins and caraway seeds if using. I like to soak the raisins in warm water to plump them up, then drain the water before adding them to the mixture. Keep in mind, this is a very thick batter. If it’s impossible to mix, add a splash more of milk.
Pour mixture into greased loaf pan. Sprinkle sugar on top. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour. Start checking it at 45 minutes. Oven temperatures vary as do pan sizes. A toothpick should come out clean when it’s done. Cool pan on a rack for 5 minutes. Loosen bread with a knife and then let the bread cool on a rack. Store in an airtight container.
Let it cool, if you can, before serving!