Friday, March 20, 2009

Luck of the Irish: Soda Bread

Ah, St.Patrick's Day. I'm not Irish, I don't eat meat, so corned beef is out of the picture, and I don't like to drink so I don't have much use for St.Patrick's Day. Somebody once tricked me into trying an Irish car bomb by telling me that it tastes like chocolate milk. I want you to know that is a dirty, dirty lie and I almost died. This is also the time I learned that I cannot chug a drink to save my life. And the time everybody else learned that I am no fun to have at a college party.

The only reason St.Patrick's Day is different from any other day is that I get harassed for not wearing green when I inevitably forget and Brian somehow manages to get drunk twice in one day.

What is it about St.Patrick's Day that compels random people to pinch me? "Oh, weren't you aware it's St.Patrick's day?? PINCH, HAHA!" to which I say, "Oh yes, but I was not aware that we were transported back in time to kindergarten when it was still acceptable to pinch strangers because they weren't wearing the color of shirt you so desired them to wear. PUNCH IN THE FACE, HAHA!"

I do, however, like Irish soda bread. In the past, I've used a recipe that was more of a quick bread, baked in the loaf pan. It's not traditional in any sense but it was good and easy. This year however, I could not find the recipe I normally use. Otherwise known as STORY OF MY LIFE.

I am not organized, to say the least.

So this St.Patrick's Day I found a recipe with good ratings on All Recipes and based my bread off of that one. I really liked this recipe too, probably more than my old one. The old one had a tendency to be doughy and dense but this one was really light and tender.

I like this picture because you can see Joe in the background, doing what he does best: neurotically cleaning the kitchen.

Irish Soda Bread

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup dried currants
  • 2 Tbsps caraway seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk for basting
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add currants and caraway seeds. Cut in the butter until the consistency of small peas is reached. Combine 1 cup of buttermilk and egg and add to flour-butter mixture just until combined. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round and place on prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush loaf with this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an 'X' into the top of the loaf.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for about 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Continue to brush the loaf with the buttermilk while it bakes to form a shiny crust.
--------------

I modified the directions to make more scone like, since the recipe looked like a scone recipe to me. It worked out, it had a texture like a giant scone. Still not traditional in any way but I liked it and it had the essential components I associate with soda bread: currants and caraway seeds.

Stay tuned for the next Daring Baker's challenge!

1 comment:

Katy said...

Beautiful looking bread; great color. Looks very yum!