Wednesday, March 16, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Soda Bread

John & Judith O'Kane
Since my most popular blog post is actually a top five list of things to do in Ireland, I figure you might be fans of St. Patrick's Day.  I like all sorts of little holidays, and my maternal grandfather (see the picture below, on the right) came over from County Clare in the 1920s, so I have a little bit of Irish pride, though he died about 15 years before I was born.  My mother's best friend's parents, who were like grandparents to us, were also Irish, so I feel that connection, also.  Plus, any time I've been to Ireland, people have been incredibly friendly to me.  It's a culture I can really appreciate.

Judith and Eunan O'Kane
I don't celebrate the holiday much (although now that I like stouts, maybe I'll have a Guinness tomorrow!), but I had some spare time this evening, so I baked some Irish Soda Bread.  I was surprised to find that there weren't too many people on my reader with recipes for it, so I went with a highly-rated one on Epicurious, that's more of an American version, and it's delicious.  I made two smaller loaves (one for work and one for home) on a regular cookie sheet, and substituted regular milk with a teaspoon of vinegar and a half teaspoon extra baking soda for the buttermilk, because I didn't have any around the house.  I'd also consider cutting the raisins by half next time, since it really was chock-full of them.  If you don't like sweet breads (not to be confused with sweetbreads), you could probably also cut some of the sugar.  Still, it was beyond enjoyable, especially warm, and I hope my coworkers like it tomorrow!

Irish Soda Bread (from Epicurious)
  • 5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups raisins
  • 3 tablespoons caraway seeds
  • 2 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter heavy ovenproof 10- to 12-inch-diameter skillet with 2- to 2 1/2-inch-high sides. Whisk first 5 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Add butter; using fingertips, rub in until coarse crumbs form. Stir in raisins and caraway seeds. Whisk buttermilk and egg in medium bowl to blend. Add to dough; using wooden spoon, stir just until well incorporated (dough will be very sticky). 

Transfer dough to prepared skillet; smooth top, mounding slightly in center. Using small sharp knife dipped into flour, cut 1-inch-deep X in top center of dough. Bake until bread is cooked through and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool bread in skillet 10 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool completely. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap tightly in foil; store at room temperature.)

3 comments:

  1. I'm trying this today!! I've never had soda bread so I don't know what it's supposed to taste like..but it looks awesome. I'm going to try to veganize it since i don't have buttermilk...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm trying this today!! I've never had soda bread so I don't know what it's supposed to taste like..but it looks awesome. I'm going to try to veganize it since i don't have buttermilk...

    ReplyDelete