Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Irish Soda Bread

                    “Tomorrow was St. Patrick’s Day, I’m a layman now I don’t have to pray.”*

“There is no bread to be had equal to it for invigorating the body, promoting digestion, strengthening the stomach, and improving the state of the bowels.” -from an article in the Newry Telegraph, a N. Ireland newspaper, about 1836.

Irish soda bread is a bread born out of poverty. Flour? Got it. Baking soda? Salt? Got it. Buttermilk? Got it.” In this recipe I swap out half of the white flour for whole wheat flour. This is a little more “complicated” than many soda bread recipes that by their nature are as bare bones as you can get. I make no claims for it like those in the Newry Telegraph, but it is good. You could use this for a Leopold Bloom-style gorgonzola sandwich on Bloomsday (June 16th). Glass of burgundy is optional. “God made food, the devil the cooks.”

Irish Soda Bread
An easy recipe to make.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup brown sugar (either light or dark; dark will lend a molasses accent to the bread)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
¼ cup dried currants or raisins
1 ½ cups buttermilk

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place all of the dry ingredients and the butter into the bowl of a stand
mixer. (Alternatively, this can be mixed by hand). Mix the dry ingredients with the paddle attachment to break the butter into the flour. Add the buttermilk and mix until the dough comes together; if the dough appears to be a little dry, add a little more buttermilk until it comes together.
2. Empty the dough onto a clean, lightly floured surface and knead the dough together. Pat the dough out into a circle about 7” round. Lightly dust the top with flour. Cut a cross into the top of the loaf about ½ “ deep. Place the soda bread onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake the soda bread for 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool, slice and serve. Irish butter is optional.

*from Me and My Friend the Cat, Loudon Wainwright III

No comments:

Post a Comment