I'm not so much into the celebration and party atmosphere that the holiday brings....rather, I'm here in my kitchen, having my own kind of fun with flour, butter, milk and a few other ingredients. The holiday has inspired me to try something new, something I've not made before....Irish Soda Bread. It is surprisingly simple and uber easy if you have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer to lend a hand.
I haven't planned a "traditional" Irish meal. You see, I'm not a big fan of corned beef and cabbage and boiled potatoes. It's not the veggies I have issues with, I'm just not a big fan of corned beef. Instead I am slow cooking a brisket with my homemade dry rib rub and grilling some cabbage slices and will accompany those with this recipe for Irish Soda Bread (slathered with butter).
I found this recipe on allrecipes.com. The recipe has a high rating and a sea of positive comments. Based on the comments of the masses, I altered the baking instructions just slightly. I lowered the oven temperature and increased the baking time. I also opted to bake my bread as 2 loaves rather than one large loaf and I'm baking it in baking pans that are stoneware (think pizza stone) in hopes of a nice crusty bottom on the loaves.
Don't worry about the 1/4 cup melted butter and 1/4 cup buttermilk that you baste the bread with. It sounds like a lot, but I used every drop. The bread is out of the oven now and it smells heavenly and it sure
Irish Soda Bread
adapted from allrecipes.com
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 Tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 butter, melted
1/4 cup buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
If you are using a pizza stone or stoneware baking dishes, preheat the baking dishes along with the oven.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the four, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and 1/2 cup butter. It should look like this when it is "right".
Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead a few turns to pull it together. Don't work it too much. This is a different type of dough than regular bread dough and it won't benefit from excessive kneading.
Form the dough into two 6 inch rounds and place them in the baking dishes (or on a cookie sheet, etc.).
Pat the dough down slightly and using a sharp knife make a "X" in the top of the loaves.
(I think I cut mine too deep, I'll go a little easier next time I make the bread.)
In a small bowl, combine the melted butter and buttermilk.
Brush the tops of the loaves with this mixture and put them into the preheated oven.
Bake 50-60 minutes, checking for doneness. When done a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf will come out clean. Brush the loaf with the butter mixture while it continues to bake. I did 4 brushings every 10-15 minutes.
When the loaves come out of the oven, wrap them in a clean dish towel and set the loaves on racks to cool. Yes, it is okay to slice off a chunk! Everyone knows the best bread is warm from the oven!
I am really satisfied with this recipe. I think it also has great possibilities for added ingredients such as rosemary, raisins, apricots, etc.
Tie on your apron, and bake up a couple of loaves and share one with a friend!
I'll close today's post with an Irish Blessing.
May joy and peace surround you,
Contentment latch your door,
And happiness be with you now,
And bless you evermore."