Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Well, St. Patrick's day is approaching and my dad decided that for dinner last night he'd whip up an amazingly delicious beef and vegetable stew. However, I was kind of tired of eating rice and stew so I searched the internet looking for a tasty alternative to the boring, white flecks of grain :P In my search I stumbled across Irish Soda Bread... and it peaked my interest, as I love baking and have always loved simple recipes that don't call for a lot of ingredients or a lot of prep time. I found a couple recipes out there, some that used eggs and some that used raisins and currants. I didn't want to stick raisins in the bread as I felt that it wouldn't accompany the stew very nicely, and I didn't want to use eggs because... I only had a couple left (and I kind of like my scrambled egg breakfasts... selfish me o_O). So, I modified and mashed together a couple recipes and ended up with this delightful raisin-less, egg-less version.
Irish Soda Bread
Yields 1 small loaf, 6 small scone-sized servings
- 1 cup flour
- 3/8 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1.5 tbsp butter, cold and cubed
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
1. Mix together the first 5 ingredients.
2. Crumble in the butter, as if making short-crust pastry or biscuits
3. Slowly add in the buttermilk, stirring with a spoon (to prevent your body heat from softening the butter), until the dough comes together.
4. Shape dough into a round and flatten slightly.
5. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake at 350degrees for 15minutes. Open oven and use a spray bottle to spray 4-5 squirts of water around the oven (you can spray the bread too, this creates steam and gives the bread a crusty exterior).
6. Close the oven door, increase to 375degrees and bake for another 15-20minutes, or until the inside is cooked and the outside is nice and crusty-golden.
7. Remove from baking sheet and slice into 6 wedges. Serve warm
This was a tasty accompaniment to the hearty stew, and the bread had a slightly sweet and salty flavor to it. The bread was pretty tasty on its own, and I actually ended up eating the majority of the bread on its own, only using it to swipe the last bits of stew out of my bowl. The good thing about this recipe is that it can really be varied to become a savory or a sweet biscuit. Maybe I'll use those raisins next time, or maybe I'll throw in some sharp cheddar cheese and herbs? Who knows?? Whatever I do, I'm sure it will be delicious.