Thursday, March 17, 2016

Irish Soda Bread!

May the Luck of the Irish by with Thee!

I went to an Irish themed dinner party the other night.  I was asked to bring Irish Soda Bread and a whiskey cocktail.  I had never made Irish Soda Bread before so I did a little research and the majority of what I learned is that everyone says theirs is the real thing.  Some have fruit (raisins), some use caraway seeds, some have whole wheat flour mixed in, some swear buttermilk is the secret - basically no consensus.  I decided I would make the recipe from Fine Cooking, frankly because it was easy and I like Fine Cooking.  :)

The dough comes together very easily.  Four ingredients and done.  The dough is pretty shaggy giving you a rustic looking loaf.  Because there is no yeast, it is a little biscuit-esque.  Perfect for breakfast.  The texture is dense but not too heavy with a light crust, just enough to add a little crunch.  Great with Irish butter or jam or would be a really nice bread to serve with an Irish stew.

Here is the recipe!  Easy peasy!  Enjoy!  Erin Go Bragh!
Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour, more as needed
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
1/3 cup of golden raisins

Heat oven to 450F.  Lightly grease 10" cast iron skillet

Stir all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.  Add raisins.  Pour in buttermilk and stir with the Tovolo Dough Whisk.  You can add a little more buttermilk if needed.  I started with 1 1/2 cups and added in a few tablespoons to have the dough come together.  

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured Tovolo Silicone Pastry Mat and knead a few times being mindful to not overwork the dough.  Shape into a rounded loaf about 6 - 7 inches in diameter and about 2 inches tall.  Score the top of the loaf with a cross about 1/4 inch deep.  

Transfer the dough onto the cast iron skillet and bake at 450F for about 15 minutes.  Lower oven temperature to 400F and bake for another 20 minutes.  The best way to tell if bread is done is to tap the bottom, if it sounds hollow it is done.  

If you can, let it cool to room temperature.  I cannot wait that long so cut into it a smear as much Irish butter onto it as you can stomach!  

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