Monday, March 18, 2013

Irish Soda Bread, not Irish-American Soda Bread

It's been a little bit of a while since I updated my blog.  I have two recipes to share with you, a salmon recipe I made last week for dinner, and yesterday's (St. Patrick's Day).  I did the traditional thing and baked Irish soda bread, only this recipe is not your typical full of sugar or caraway seeds soda bread.  This is a recipe that resembles how the Irish bake their soda bread.  I found this recipe on the King Arthur Flour website.  According to their website, the Irish bake their bread with wholemeal flour which is a close relative to our whole wheat flour, as well as baking soda, salt and buttermilk.  Their soda bread resembles bread, as opposed to our cakey-like sweet soda bread.  Anyway, here's the recipe.

Here's what you'll need:
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached bread flour 
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut up into little pieces
First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda, salt, and raisins. 
Using a mixer, cut in the butter until it's evenly distributed and no large chunks remain.

In a separate bowl whisk together the buttermilk and egg.  Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix to combine.  The dough will be stiff;  if it's too crumbly to squeeze together, add another tablespoon or two of buttermilk.

Knead the dough a couple of times to make sure it's holding together than shape it into a ball.
Flatten the ball slightly, and place it into a lightly greased 8 or 9 inch round cake pan.  The bread won't spread too much while it's in the oven.  Use a sharp knife to cut a 1/2 inch deep cross, extending all the way to the edges, atop the loaf.

Bake the bread at 400 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes, until it's golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean from the center.
Cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then take it out of the pan and cool on the wire wrack some more.

Cut it up and spread some butter or jelly or whatever you like on your soda bread.  Enjoy! 

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