Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Irish Soda Bread Bake Off

March means different things to different people. For some, it marks the beginning of Spring. For others, it's a time for college hoops. For yet others, it is all about St. Patrick's Day. In our house, all three of those things are important, but this past weekend, it was all about an early Irish celebration.

In preparation for a family Irish meal, little miss and I decided to make Irish soda bread. To feed the whole family, we needed to make two loaves. This was a perfect opportunity to let little miss shine a bit on her own. Instead of making a double batch, I took out double supplies - two bowls, two whisks, two mixing spoons - and asked little miss to try something new - instead of working together, I asked what she'd think about working side by side.

I have to say, this was a ton of fun. I'd measure an ingredient, hand it over to her, and she would do the same. I didn't touch her bowl at all. Occasionally she would look to me to confirm a measurement or to ask if she was doing something right, but when I tell you she did this on her own, I mean completely on her own.

I don't have too many pictures of the process since, well, I had my hands in my own bowl for most of the time. I have to say, this was really a fun experience for both of us. She really enjoyed the independence, and I really enjoyed watching her flourish. And seeing how proud she was to be trusted to do all of the tasks necessary for this recipe. Scooping the flour, pouring the buttermilk into the measuring cup - she did absolutely everything.

I also let her choose which dried fruits would go into which bread. She wanted one with just raisins, and wanted that to be the one I made. She wanted hers to have both raisins and craisins. I even let her decide how many raisins and craisins she wanted to add - no measuring required!!

The only part that I did for her was the oven part - putting the baking sheet in and taking it out. When they came out, we were so amazed. That's little miss's bread on the left, mine on the right. Not only does hers look fantastic, I kinda think it looks better than mine! We brought them both over to the grandparents' house for dinner and everyone was amazed and impressed. And everyone went for hers first.

I am a very proud mama.


  1. Go J!! What a great mom you are to let her do it herself :)

  2. Shelley, I admire your patience, and how much love you put into baking with your little miss. It must be awesome for her! You both did an amazing job! Her loaf is looking perfect!

  3. She's an amazing lil girl in the kitchen that's for sure!!

    As for the college hoops, I'm woefully behind... tell the hubs he will NOT want ANY bracket tips from me this year... but my Alma Mater did make it into the big dance though... first time since I was there - it's been awhile ;)

  4. I'm so glad you shared this with me, I loved this post! Getting kids into the kitchen is so important and so fun!

  5. She did a great job! I would pick her's too. I'm a Craisin lover.

  6. What recipe did you end up using? I have been searching for a good recipe but there are so many that have mixed reviews. Even harder to find a good one for hot cross buns. All of them have half the people saying they are to die for and the other half saying they are hockey pucks! Would love a great recipe.

  7. Oh wow. I'm just browsing your blog for inspiration for next week's meals and I came across this - must have missed it before. You are such a great Mummy! She is going to be an amazing cook!


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