March 16, 2012

Irish Soda Bread

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 Round two is in full effect here today.

Yesterday at work we decided to have a full blown Irish feast for lunch to celebrate St. Patrick's Day this weekend, and being that we're still in Lent which would pose a problem to a few co-workers for Friday, we pushed lunch up to Thursday.

My task: Irish Soda Bread.
I was given a family recipe from a co-worker (another Irish LJ just like myself) so I knew this had to be good but there are reasons as to why I say I cook and not bake. There is something about baking that is too tempermental and fussy that I try and stear clear or plan double the amount of time to carefully go through each and every step so I don't mess up.
 Well, Insert 'Round two'. As predicted, one small glitch and the whole loaf was punished. The recipe called for using two loaf pans at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Well because I dont have loaf pans I just made the larger loaf... not big deal right? Well, not so much, except now the loaf was much larger so after some paniced research, and cooking the loaf for 30 minutes already, I found out that larger loafs are more often than not cooked at a higher temperature for a longer time period.

Round two came out much better and I am bringing it to lunch again today to redeem myself of my baking tragedy.

Once again, I wasn't a huge fan of Irish soda bread as a child because it sounded like a baking soda bread which would be nasty, and I wasnt adventurous enough as a child to taste test my theory. But thankfully as I grew up, I tasted this amazing bread and now it's a holiday tradition.
When I mentioned yesterday that a perfect St. Patty's Day comes with a Shamrock MintShake in one hand and Irish Soda Bread in the other, I wasn't going to leave you {empty handed} and not share the recipe.

Spread a little Irish butter on this soda bread and you have one of the best Irish traditional foods that everyday Americans love. It's an easy dough to knead together and the oven does the rest of the work to create a perfect bread.

Just remember, word to the wise, check the loaf pan and/or baking sheet cooking times to make sure you end up with perfect results every time.

Irish Soda Bread
Servings: 1 round.
Cook time: 45 minutes

2 cups of whole wheat flour

2 cups of flour
1/2 cup raw sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp caraway seeds (optional)
1 1/2-2 cups of raisins
1 egg
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix together all of your dry ingredients. Create a well in the middle and add your egg, shortening and buttermilk. Dust hands with a little flour, then gently knead dough in the bowl just long enough to form a rough ball. If the dough is too sticky to work with, add in a little more flour or you may have to add a little bit of buttermilk if your dough is dry. Do not over-knead, if you over-knead, the bread will end up tough.

Shape into a round loaf and transfer dough to a large, lightly greased cast-iron skillet or a baking sheet covered with parchment paper (it will flatten out a bit in the pan or on the baking sheet). Using a serrated knife, score top of dough in an "X" shape. The purpose of the scoring is to help heat get into the center of the dough while it cooks.

Transfer to oven and bake until bread is golden and bottom sounds hollow when tapped, about 35-45 minutes.

Recipe and photos by A Healthy Jalapeño


1 comment:

Jen @ Peanut Butter and Peppers said...

Looks fabulous!!! Happy St. Patrick's Day!!