Friday, March 16, 2012

Whole Grain Sour Cream Irish Soda Bread with Orange Brandy Golden Raisins

 If you've never made Irish Soda bread, it's a quick bread that is formed into a round loaf and traditionally marked with an "X" across the top. Usually when the whole grain versions of this bread are made, they are dry. Even my original recipe gave me some trouble now and then if I didn't start it steaming soon enough. 

Who wants a dry soda bread? I don't! Whole grain is so flavorful and so beautiful in Irish soda bread and it makes such a delicate beautiful loaf using whole grain flour, but there are some tricks to make it perfect. For whole grain, I use more moister, egg, some sour cream, and golden raisins to give it just the right balance of sweetness. You can omit the raisins if you want to have a more traditional loaf. I adore them with a kiss of Grand Marnier-type flavor that the LorAnn oil imparts (without adding alcohol). I also wrap it in a clean crisp tea towel right after it comes out of the oven and let it steam itself for a while. It's even more amazing and moist the next day if you take the loaf wrapped in a towel and put it in a bag overnight. No matter how you have it, count yourself among the lucky Irish for finding this recipe! 

Chef Tess' 9 Grain Sour Cream Irish Soda Bread
with Orange Brandy Golden Raisins
4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup olive oil or melted butter
4 large  eggs
 1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup golden raisins
1 tsp LorAnn Orange Brandy Oil (or 1 tsp brandy flavor and ½ tsp orange zest)
1 cups water
1.Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prepare a baking sheet by spraying it lightly with cooking spray or lining it with parchment paper.
2. Sift the flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt together.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the oil, eggs, and sour cream.
4. In a small bowl combine the raisins and the LorAnn Orange Brandy Oil. Coat well.
4. Add 1 cup water to the  raisins and soak for 10 minutes. Pour the raisin mixture into the sour cream mixture.  Add to the dry ingredients and  mix the dough until just combined. It will seem really moist! Don't panic. Don't add more flour. Allow mixture to sit 10 minutes to absorb moisture.
 It will thicken after resting 10 minutes. Yes, it will still seem rather moist.  
5. Turn the dough onto a  floured surface. Using a light hand, press the dough into a ball ( Or you can  rolled it in oats). Form the dough into a round  a loaf. Dust with flour and lightly score an "X" across the top of ea loaf with a sharp knife. Place on prepared pan. 
6. Bake the soda bread until it is lightly browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom (0h come on!! Just test it with a meat thermometer 175 degrees) , twenty-five to thirty minutes for loaves. 

Wrap the bread in a tea towel directly out of the oven. 
Cool the soda bread in the tea towel on a wire rack before serving.
I like to put the toweled loaf in a plastic bag and let it steam about 3 hours or overnight.
 It can be held at room temperature for up to two days or frozen for up to four weeks. I doubt it will stay around that long.'s so amazingly moist and delicious!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess


Anonymous said...

This looks amazing! My mother in law was born in Dublin and makes brown bread, as she calls it. She would make just one little comment - it is not an x on the top, but a cross. Just like hot crossed buns. Her version is what her mother and grandmother would make almost every day. It includes whole wheat, wheat bran, and wheat germ.

Anonymous said...

Can this be made with non-powdered shortening? Life butter or shortening? What would be the measurement?

Chef Tess said...

Certainly. Use 1/3 cup shortening and cut it into the dry ingredients.

Anonymous said...

How long can you store this mix for?