(Some of the pictures are missing but this is the time of year for the Irish Soda bread recipe. Here is the recipe I used last year…and the year before.. So rather than reinvent the wheel, and because I dont have time to start from scratch, what with brownies in the oven and 8 loaves of bread cooling on the table, here is the re-run:)
“She’s sharp as a marble!”
These are a few of the more polite sayings I picked up from an Irish gal I used to work with before the flood. She was a hoot, and so different, like a space alien to me. She definitely took me outside my box. I wonder if she even had a box.
But thats as close to the Irish I have ever gotten. I love their breads though. So if you are in the mood to try some Irish Soda bread, give this a go…
There is one thing my family can all agree on and that’s our love for Irish Soda Bread. The plain kind, craggy, warm, creamy on the inside with a hint of sweet.
You can serve this up with a corned beef, potato and cabbage dinner (also called a New England dinner), or a stew or pot roast or shepherds pie. Leftovers are great warmed up in the morning and slathered with butter.
Below is that recipe. I will tell you about the other 2 ways to modify it at the end.
Today is the Thursday before the Sunday of St. Patrick’s day. This means I step into high gear, stocking up on buttermilk, getting the candied orange peel ready and stoking up the stove. I expect to be making 8-10 loaves in the next couple of days. Some for the Friday night soup kitchen night at church, some for friends and at least 1 for us. But this is a quick bread, with no raising involved, no proofing. Just mix and bake.
It calls for whole wheat and white all purpose flours. I also put in some ground oats. I have never seen an Irish soda bread recipe with oats, but first off, I love the flavor and texture some oats contribute and secondly, oats are very Irish, aren’t they? Scottish too.
For the wheat flour I have used regular whole wheat, white whole wheat and even whole wheat pastry flour, which is whole wheat ground from a softer lower protein winter wheat grown in the more moderately warmer southern states. It has lower protein which means less gluten. For cookies, biscuits, scones and so forth, you do not need a high gluten content. So whole wheat pastry flour works. Okay, I just erased a whole paragraph on flours. I realize that I will have to dedicate a post just to flours, or I will go on like this all day.
If you do not have a food processor, you can cut the butter in with a pastry cutter. I lost my favorite one and keep forgetting to buy a new one, so I am using the food processor.
I have a new food processor I am not really used to yet. I did not think there would be very much difference between them, but there is. This one is a Kitchen-aid and it seems to miss the outside edges. So pulsing is not as effective as just high speed for a bit. If I wanted it ground finer, I would get out my mini grinder that was designed for coffee grounds but I use for grains. It turns them virtually into dust! But I wanted some texture to the breads this time.
Continue reading “Irish Soda Bread, version 1, 2 and 2.5”