Sunday, March 1, 2009
Happy March! - - Irish Soda Bread
If you've never had Irish Soda Bread, you're in for a treat. It is a dense bread that is perfect out of the oven with a bit of butter and a hot drink. It is another one of my "adult" treats, meaning it is not too sweet. Valiant won't eat it because he boycotts raisins, but the other kids like it. I found the recipe in a magazine years and years ago (I think it might have been LHJ, but I can't swear by that) and I've been making it ever since. Try it, you won't be disappointed...
Irish Soda Bread
2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus 1/4 cup flour - divided
1/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 325.
Line large cookie sheet with parchment powder. [I just use my Pampered Chef stone.]
Whisk together 2 3/4 cup flour with sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in raisins.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and buttermilk.
Stir buttermilk-egg mixture into dry ingredients using a wooden spoon. Mix until just combined. [Dough will be really sticky.]
Take remaining 1/4 cup of flour and sprinkle onto work surface. Lightly flour hands and turn and knead dough to incorporate the flour. Form the dough into a 6 inch round and place on cookie sheet [or stone] and cut a deep "x" in the top of the loaf.
Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes clean or about 60 minutes. [Yesterday, mine took 50 minutes.] Transfer to cooling rack.
Slice with serrated knife (a bread knife) and serve with butter and jam.
This dough can be really, really sticky. I kind of decide whether or not 1/4 cup is enough when I'm doing the kneading...if flouring my hands isn't enough to keep the dough from sticking to my hands, then I add a bit more.
Make the "X" deep. When I first tried this recipe, I didn't make my "X" deep enough and the crust cooked first and the dough couldn't expand...crusty-mush-filled-soda bread wasn't very good. So I learned...deep "x"!
This time I made this recipe using powdered buttermilk and it turned out great, so I will no longer need to run to the store for fresh buttermilk when I'm wanting this treat. [The ladies at Everyday Food Storage have convinced me to try things like this. They're are all about a well-stocked pantry and recipes that use staples.] Using powdered buttermilk was a bit odd, however, because you add the buttermilk powder to the dry ingredients and use water in place of the buttermilk in the recipe. So, in this recipe, I added the buttermilk powder to my dry ingredients and mixed water with the eggs. I turned out well, but it was strange when I was doing it.