St. Patrick's Bread Cloth*

with Irish Soda Bread Recipe

from week ending March 22, 1998

*Design and Instructions by Diana Trupiano



Aleene's Premium Coat Acrylic Paint: Hunter Green, True Green

Aleene's Enhancers: Textile Medium

Fabric Paint Pens: Dark Green, Silver, Gold

Ivy and small leaf stamps (see project archives: Week ending 2/1/98 Make Your Own Rubber Stamps - And $AVE!)

Small flat paint brush

White ready made bread cloth (I used a Charles Craft 14 count Aida Bread Cloth)

Small trigger type spray bottle


1) Thin 2 tablespoons True green paint with 1/2 cup water. Pour into spray bottle.

2) Lay bread cloth flat on paper covered surface, with paper extending at least 12" on each side to catch overspray.

3) Set spray bottle on a fine mist. Hold spray bottle approximately 12" above bread cloth. Lightly mist entire surface. Remember, the thinned paint will wick into the fibers of the cloth very quickly. Take care not to spray too much. (if desired, you can skip this step, and leave your cloth white, or, change the mist color to suit your taste.)

4) Mix a nickle sized pool of Hunter Green paint with an equal amount of Textile Medium. Using your flat brush, lightly coat your stamp. Beginning in a corner, press the stamp onto the cloth with even pressure, on entire stamp area. Lift straight up to remove. Repeat as many times as desired, rotating leaf to create a more natural pattern, all around edge of cloth.

5) Repeat with small leaf stamp, filling in between larger leaves.

6) With green paint marker, add a vine. Make it wavy and curled, with small tendrils.

7) Add details with your silver paint marker.

8) Add small dots and flowers with your gold paint marker.

9) Let dry completely. To set paints, you may place your bread cloth in the dryer, at high (cotton), for 10 minutes.

There are as many variations to this craft as there are people on the planet. Try making one for a different holiday or season. How about a natural colored cloth with bright yellow sunflowers stamped on it for harvest time? Or a red or green colth with stockings and gingerbread people for Christmas? I'd love to see what you've crafted! Click How do I submit a project? to share your talents!

IRISH SODA BREAD (Also found in The Craft of Cooking main dishes section.)

This is my favorite Soda Bread recipe. It, and hundreds of other delicious recipes can be found in one of my favorite cookbooks, The Frugal Gourmet On Our Immigrant Ancestors, by the incredibly talented Jeff Smith. Check it out!

Irish Soda Bread

Makes 2 loaves

Jeff Smith writes:

No yeast is necessary in this dish... never has been in real Irish Soda Bread. Craig, my assistant, and I worked a long time on this recipe to get something that reminded me of the bread that I'd had while touring in Ireland as a student. I really believe that we are very close to the loaves offered the families in this country by our Irish immigrant grandmas.

6 cups all-purpose flour (See Hint, page 423.)

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 1/2cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375

Add all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix very well. Pour all of the buttermilk into the bowl at once and stir, using a wooden spoon, just until a soft dough is formed. Do not try to make it smooth at this point. Pour the contents of the bowl out onto a plastic counter and knead for a minute or so until everything comes together. Divide the dough into two portions and shape each into a round loaf, pressing the top down a bit to just barely flatten it. Place the loaves on a large ungreased baking sheet. (I like to use the nonstick kind.) Sprinkle some additional flour on the top of each loaf and, using a sharp paring knife, make the sign of the Cross in slashes on the top of each. Allow the loaves to rest for 10 minutes and then bake on the middle rack of the oven for 40 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown and done to taste. Cool on racks.

Irish Dark Soda Bread

Makes 2 loaves

Same story as the bread above. Different flavor due to the addition of whole-wheat flour. This is so simple to prepare and so delicious that I expect you will become famous with your children for the making of this bread. Do it!

3 cups all-purpose flour (See Hint, page 423.)

2 cups whole-wheat flour (See Hint, page 423.)

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 tab1espoon baking powder

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 1/4 cups buttermilk

Proceed as in the recipe for Irish Soda Bread, being very careful to break up any lumps of brown sugar. Divide the dough into 2 loaves and bake at 400 for about 45 minutes, or until brown and crunchy- Cool on racks just as above.

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