Thursday, May 28, 2015

Irish Soda Bread

This is one of my best culinary tricks in all honesty.  So, you need bread for sandwiches tomorrow.  It's 8:00 and you know you don't have three hours to make yeast risen bread.  What are you to do?  Make Irish Soda Bread!

This recipe is easy, takes about ten minutes total to put together and in less than an hour you have bread for breakfast and lunches.  My type of culinary trick.

My favorite way to do this is to make 1 loaf of plain bread and then when that is done baking I make another loaf with raisins and cinnamon added to it for a breakfast bread.  It's great because I still end up with two different types of bread in under two hours total.  I wouldn't double this recipe and bake two loaves at once.  I haven't had a lot of luck doing that in the past.  The loaves just don't seem to raise as well when you have two loafs in the oven at the same time.

So, next time you need bread fast, try this.  You won't be sorry.  It might not be the best bread you've ever had (hard to beat a good baguette), but it just might be the easiest.

Irish Soda Bread (Makes 1 loaf)


Ingredients:
  • 3 cups AP flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbs. sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk or soured milk*
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 cup currants or raisins (optional)

Procedure:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a cookie/baking sheet.

In a mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients (including cinnamon if using) and raisins/currants (if using) and mix with your hands or whisk to combine thoroughly.  Pour buttermilk or soured milk in all at once and mix until a sticky dough is formed.

Turn out onto a floured surface or counter top and knead dough until smooth (it doesn't take but a minute at most to get the dough smooth enough to work with, so don't worry about kneading for 10 minutes or anything).

Move dough to your cookie/baking sheet and pat dough into a circle about 2 inches high.  Use a knife and make a large "X" in the top of the dough.

Bake for about 40 minutes.  Loaf should sound hollow if you turn the loaf over and tap it with your finger.  Remove to a cooling rack or a tea towel to cool.
*To make soured milk:  Place 1 tbs. lemon juice or vinegar in the bottom of a 2 cup liquid measuring cup.  Add milk to make 1 1/4 cups of liquid.  Mix and then let sit for 5 minutes.  Use as you would buttermilk.

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