Monday, March 9, 2009

Irish Soda Bread

Today I found the most delicious recipe for Irish Soda Bread. I was anxious to try it when I found it. I wasn't disappointed. I took this picture just before we broke it into pieces and devoured it! It had a light sweetness and a wonderful crunch. I did not add raisins or caraway seeds. I'm told that those additions aren't in traditional Irish Soda Bread anyway. In addition, I used whole grain cake flour I ground myself from soft white wheat, barley and millet. Just after rolling it into a ball, I rolled it in thick cut rolled oats. The result was an earthy delicious quick bread. I think you will agree. It was wonderful with roasted tomato and barley soup . I think it would be amazing with any breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner.

"This recipe, along with more than 175 others, is explained and illustrated in The Culinary Institute of America's Breakfasts and Brunches cookbook (Lebhar-Friedman 2005, $35)"

Irish Soda Bread

4 cups cake flour (If you use all purpose, be especially careful not to over mix!)*whole grain flour use 1 1/2 cup milk.
1 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable shortening ( I used butter)
1 cup dark raisins (optional)
1 tablespoon caraway seeds ( will taste like rye bread if you use caraway!)
1 cup cold milk (or buttermilk) *1 1/2 cup if you use whole grain flour!


Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prepare a baking sheet by spraying it lightly with cooking spray or lining it with parchment paper.
Sift the flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt together into a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the shortening into the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse meal.
Add the raisins, caraway seeds, and milk. Mix the dough until just combined; avoid over mixing as this will cause the dough to toughen. If you use whole grain flour, let the dough absorb moisture 10 minutes before forming into a loaf. Don't add more flour. Turn the dough into a lightly floured surface. Press the dough into a ball ( I rolled it in oats). Form the dough into a loaf, or cut into sixteen equal pieces to make rolls. Dust with flour and lightly score an "X" across the top of each roll or loaf with a sharp knife.
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) , about eight to ten minutes for rolls and 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. It can be held at room temperature for up to two days or frozen for up to four weeks.
I like it best right out of the oven!
There you go!


Goob said...

I was just trying to figure out a quick bread for dinner and I have to admit, I never would have thought of Irish Soda bread, but its just the answer.

Chef Tess said...

You will love it!!

Goob said...

i ended up going with good ol' biscuits. The last time I made soda bread it wasn't a whole lot different from a giant biscuit anyways.

And if I were being totally honest and forthright I would also add that I put cheddar and garlic in those biscuits, and then slathered them in melted butter, garlic, parsley, and parmesan. I dared eat only 1...but ultimately I ate 2 and a