For those of you who prefer to avoid yeast, Irish Soda Bread may be the bread for you! Having only a handful of ingredients, this healthy and economical loaf became the staple of many impoverished Irish families during the 1800's. And, it still is firm favourite worldwide.
A quirky side of Irish Soda Bread are the various meanings associated with the cross which is cut into the dough. One belief is that the cross is cut to keep the devil at bay and thereby protect the family household or to let the devil out while the bread is baked. Another is that it lets the fairies out. Apparently, the real reason for cutting a cross is quite simply, so the bread can bake more easily. Ah, logic may prevail but the fairies idea may be more appealing to those who enjoy a bit of fun!
Hope you have some fun baking your Irish Soda Bread. And keep an eye out for those little fairies!!!