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For most early Irish Canadians, daily life was centred on their families, farms, neighbours and churches. In Canada, land was more easily obtained than in Ireland. Farm families were often large. The entire family pitched in when it came to looking after livestock and crops. Children worked hard too! They looked after the gardens and did chores every day.
Irish Soda Bread
This recipe makes a medium-sized loaf.
500 ml (2 cups) flour
15 ml (1 tbsp.) baking soda
5 ml (1 tsp.) salt
30 ml (2 tbsp.) sugar
125 ml (½ cup) shortening
250 ml (1 cup) raisins
30 ml (2 tbsp.) caraway seeds
125 ml (½ cup) buttermilk
In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt and sugar.
Use two knives or a pastry blender to cut the shortening.
Stir in the raisins and caraway seeds.
Gradually add the buttermilk. Add more if the mixture is dry.
Knead the mixture briefly and shape into a round loaf.
Put the dough on a greased pan.
Cut a big X shape on top so the bread will not crack during baking and brush the top with a small amount of milk.