Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Traditional Irish Soda Bread Recipe



Photo courtesy of Heather "Moria"

I’ll be making a loaf of soda bread tonight, though it probably won’t last until St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday. If you’ve never made this bread before, give it a try. It’s easy and this stuff tastes great – enjoy it as a sweet treat with butter at breakfast or to scoop up savory dishes like lamb or beef stew. Here’s my first-generation Irish grandmother’s soda bread recipe:

Ingredients:
2 cups of all-purpose flour (a pinch more for dusting)
2 cups pastry/cake flour
3-1/2 tablespoons of sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons of salt
2 tablespoons of butter
1-3/4 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon of white vinegar
1 cup of raisins

1) Preheat oven to 425
2) Sift together dry ingredients.
3) Mix dry ingredients and butter together in a ceramic bowl with a paring knife.  This is a key part of the recipe: you want to cut across all the ingredients until – somehow – they form a crumble.
4) Add the milk and vinegar. Knead only until smooth, about 15 times. I advise you to knead sparingly to avoid creating gluten. But, my grandmother would beat the bejesus out of it, so go with your gut.
5) Place the dough on parchment paper on a baking sheet or in a bread pan (if you want a loaf shape) and bake for 45 – 60 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 180 F.

Enjoy! And remember, you can buy all of the tools mentioned in this recipe at ChefTools.com - just follow the links!
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