Irish Soda Bread

by byn on March 18, 2010

in Bread

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I have always maintained that St. Patrick’s Day in the real world will never be as fun as it was in university. The campus pub opened at 10am, keg parties started around the same time and lasted all day, there was green beer everywhere, and people pre-drinking in class. Now, when SPD falls on a Wednesday and you have little to no tolerance for line-ups to get into a pub, how’s a baking nerd to celebrate? An Irish baking project of course!

First I had to confirm with Aoife that Irish Soda Bread is something that Irish people actually eat, not just something that non-Irish people write about on their food blogs. She told me that yes, they grew up eating it in her house, and she actually really misses it (Side project: make a gluten-free version?). So I started looking at my food blogs to find a recipe. The problem is there are way too many to choose from. Barefoot Contessa has one that you make with currents and orange zest (no thanks),  SK just made some Irish Soda Bread Scones, and Baking Bites has one that looks really good with oats and honey. Lo and behold, check out this article that appeared in the Toronto Star yesterday! I’ll leave it to them to debate the merits of traditional vs. non-traditional soda bread, but for me, I chose the non-traditional version with some sugar.

The dough only took a few minutes to put together, and it was really sticky and it kind of just spread out on the baking sheet. The results as you can see, resemble a ginormous scone.  Next time I would put it in a loaf pan to prevent this :o) When it came out of the oven, I immediately cut a slice and spread some butter on it. It was crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, and had just a hint of sweetness as the article mentioned. I will note that the next day, without the crunchy crust, it did lose a bit of its appeal. Nothing a quick trip to the toaster can’t fix!

Quinn’s Soda Bread

Source: Toronto Star

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups each all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp each baking soda and kosher salt

2 cups buttermilk, lightly shaken

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup butter, melted

Directions:

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the centre.
  2. In a measuring cup, combine buttermilk and egg. Pour into well in flour mixture. Mix with rubber spatula until just moistened, then stir in butter. Mix with spatula, then by hand, until all ingredients are incorporated.
  3. Transfer dough to baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Gently pat into 8 inch round.  Using a wet knife, cut a deep X into the top of the dough.
  4. Bake in a preheated 325° oven 60-70 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool on a rack.

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