Monday, October 31, 2011

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

This bread was a request of my wife.  I had only had this at the Irish Lion in Bloomington IN and I did not care for it at all.  In fact I didn't even bother eating any of the first loaf I made, but everyone loved it and my curiosity got the best of me so I tried it and seemed to enjoy it.  Much like greek yogurt  the name irritates me.  There is nothing particularly Irish about this bread, because it is not green, so I don't know why people love to add the Irish, but I'll call it that for the blog.  I just call it soda bread.


Gather these ingredients.

Gold Medal              5 Cups
Better for Bread
Baking Soda            1   TEAspoon
Salt                           ½  TABLEspoon

Honey                      3   TABLEspoons
Egg                          1   Large
Buttermilk                1 ½ Cups

Butter                       4 TABLEspoons (melted)

Raisins                     1 Cup

First thing to do is the set your oven to 325 F.  This may seem a bit low for bread, but this is a wet bread and it must be cooked slower and longer than most.

Next put all your dry ingredients into a bowl and combine. I like to use a whisk, but you can use whatever you like.

Next gather your wet ingredients and add the honey, egg, and buttermilk to the dry ingredients.  Don't worry about over kneading the dough.  Once you get it all together melt your butter in the microwave.  I like to cut mine into small pieces before microwaving to avoid having the butter explode instead of melting.


Some people like to drink the buttermilk which is nasty.  I can still remember an uncle who used to try to get me to drink it. YUCK! I still can't help myself because every time I buy a half gallon I always drink some, just to see if my taste for it has changed.  It hasn't.

I am lazy so I use the good ole fashioned dough hook on the KitchenAid to get my ingredients all together.  After adding the butter you can add raisins, or any other dried fruit if you want.  Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't and sometimes I just forget. Some say adding raisins is not something the Irish do, but this is my blog and Mother Musk likes her dried fruit.

Like I said before the dough is quite wet when it is ready, but you can always add a bit more flour to soak up moisture if you want.  The picture above is what you're aiming for.

If you want you can make slices in the bread before you bake it, but I prefer to have mine crack naturally.  You check this loaf like a cake by poking it with a toothpick.  Remember low and slow for this one. If you cook it too quickly the outside will burn or be done while the inside is still raw.  I bake the loaf for an hour and then check it every ten minutes.

If you're unsure about the loaf being done all the way through cut it in half to check.  If it's not done just put it back in until it's ready.

Also you should use a straight edged knife to cut this bread. If you use a bread knife it will make thousands of crumbs and rip the bread.

I found this out the hard way.