The Irish Soda Bread was the best-ever! (Well, I admit that I messed up the first batch and it ended up all over the oven and the floor as I was cleaning it up.) The second batch was perfect! LOL
As promised, here's my Mom's Easter Bread recipe. This old recipe card was written by me when I was in 7th grade.... or so. It's somewhat time-consuming, but you gotta love it! I'm dieting (and ate too much Soda Bread) so I'm not making this recipe this year. I'm sure my sister and Mom will be though!
12 cups flour, 9 eggs; 1 1/4 cups water, 1 1/4 cups shortening, 2 cups raisins, 1 1/4 cups sugar, 2 tablespoons anise seed, 1 package dry yeast, 1/2 teaspoon anise flavoring
Soak yeast in 1/4 warm water. Beat 1 egg and add 1/4 cup water. Mix yeast water, egg/water mixture, and another 1/4 cup water. Add 1 cup of the flour to make a spongy batter. Mix until smooth. Let rise 2 hours or until triple in size.
Beat the remaining 8 eggs together, add the sugar, raisins, the anise seed, and the flavoring and set aside.
Put the remaining flour in a LARGE bowl. Make a well in the center. Add the shortening, the egg mixture, the yeast/sponge mixture and 1/2 cup water. Mix and work dough. Knead well. Place in a large, greased bowl and let rise until double. Punch down dough and let rise again. (This rising process may take awhile. Keep in a warm place, but not too hot, and be patient.) Form loaves. I don't remember how many loaves I get out of this size batch. Usually 4 - 6 medium-size loaves - depending on the size. Let rise, covered. Bake when ready at 350 degrees F - until done. Some people test by a thumping sound. I can just tell when they're done. They're dark/golden brown. Brush hot loaves with butter if desired.