Monday, 17 March 2014

Irish Soda Bread

Today is St. Patrick's Day.  We drink green beer, eat green food, and wear green clothes (in order to prevent getting pinched!). 

I have a permanent St. Patrick's Day out.  My eyes are green.


And if you're having a St Patty's Day supper, I recommend this traditional Soda Bread.

Also - super, duper easy.  5 ingredients.

Pretend there are 5 ingredients in that picture there.

Start by measuring out the flour into a bowl.

Then add the caraway seeds.

Then the salt.
And the baking soda.
Stir everything together.
Pour in the buttermilk.
Stir everything together until moistened.
Turn out onto the counter and knead until it comes together.  Shape into a disc about 6-inches across and 2-inches thick.
Cut an "x" across the top of the dough, about 1-inch deep.
Bake until golden.  You'll know it's done when you knock on the bottom of the "loaf" and it sounds hollow.
Sadly - mine was a little over-done.  I think you'd be surprised to know that I'm still getting used to my oven.  

And it is sure great for sopping up stew!

Dense and chewy - the caraway gives the bread a terrific flavor.

Now - I'm not terribly sure if this is a very traditional soda bread - it's been hanging around in my recipe book for a few years now.

But - regardless of traditional or not - it's really good and perfect with stew.

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be ever at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God keep you in the palm of his hand.
                     -Irish Blessing

White Soda Bread

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons caraway seeds
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (you may have to add a little more as required)
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Lightly flour a baking sheet and set aside.
  2. Mix the flour, caraway seeds, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. 
  3. Mix in enough buttermilk to form moist clumps.  Add more buttermilk a little at a time if the dough is too dry, but watch - you don't want it to be too wet.  The dough should be soft, but not too wet and sticky.
  4. Gather the dough into a ball.  Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead just until the dough holds together.  About 1 minute.  Don't over knead or the bread will be tough.
  5. Shape the dough into a disc about 6-inches in diameter and 2-inches thick.
  6. Place on prepared baking sheet.  Cut a 1-inch deep "x" across the top of the dough, from edge to edge.
  7. Bake until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.  About 30 - 35 minutes. 
  8. Transfer bread to a wire rack to cool completely.

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