Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Irish Soda Bread

In celebration of finally being employed (and in an attempt to use up the rest of a HUGE bottle of buttermilk) I made my grandmother's Irish soda bread (no raisins) last night and brought it to work, where it was (not surprisingly -- they love food at work) a huge hit.

This is a REALLY good recipe for using up the rest of the bottle of buttermilk (my two other recipes require less than 1 c), and it really shines through in the flavor. This bread has an amazing flavor and is very dense.

I'm not entirely certain what "makes" Soda bread soda bread -- probably the fact that it's leavened with baking soda, rather than yeast. We also noted, at work, it's incredibly density -- either good for surviving those Irish famines or soaking up the large quantities of beer on St. Pat's (one of my favorite holidays).

Nan's Irish Soda Bread:
4 c white flour
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp salt
1 heaping tsp baking powder
1/4 stick  butter broken into tiny pieces
optional: 1 c soaked raisins (I never use these -- always had to pick them out as a kid)

1 2/3 c buttermilk
1 egg
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp baking soda

Mix the first 5 ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix the wet ingredients separately and add slowly to the flour mixture. Knead gently and shape into a large round loaf.

Bake on an oiled cookie sheet, cut a 4" X on the top, and brush with beaten egg.

Bake 60-70 mins at 350 F

Serve with butter and enjoy!

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