About two months ago, my mother emailed me and let me know that we are part Irish! Apparently, she had been on http://www.ancestory.com and discovered this exciting part of our history!
Lucky for me, one of my college roommate, (Amy) who was Irish, taught me to drink like I was Irish so at least I was comfortable with part of being Irish! Literally, I think I consumed more Jamison in those years than most people drink in their life. If you haven’t tried it … skip it! (No Offense Amy. I wouldn’t however skip all the crazy times that happened AFTER the Jamison!)
My husband is 100% Irish, he could actually get a dual citizenship if he wanted. One day I’d like to go to Ireland and visit with my boys, but in the meantime, it’s fun for me to learn about the Irish. So, I was excited when I saw the Irish Soda Bread on our recipe list. I actually have made soda bread before as my in-laws gave me two recipes that I made over the last year. My favorite one had caraway seeds in it! YUM
What I found interesting about this recipe is that the Irish made it often because they usually had the ingredients on hand. It is really fast to make and you only need four ingredients! (flour, salt, baking soda and buttermilk) Buttermilk? Really, the Irish have buttermilk on hand? Hmm … how many of you have buttermilk on hand? I’m guessing only one of my followers has it … AUNT PAM! 🙂 If you have a great buttermilk recipe, let me know because I have two cups left!
Our host for the week is … Carly. You can find the detailed recipe on her blog!
Mise En Place
In a large bowl, I mixed the dry ingredients together. Then I slowly added in the buttermilk and mixed it quickly to combine. You don’t want to over mix the dough … so just enough that it pulls together. Then I placed the dough on a lightly floured silpat and kneaded it for about a minute. Silpats are a great way to keep your counter clean. They are even top-rack dishwasher safe! Next, using my hands, I gently pressed the dough together to become a round ball, about 6 inches wide.
Then I placed it on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper. I used a knife to cut an X on the top and baked it at 375 degrees for 50 mins. I let it cool for an hour and sliced into it for dinner. It was good, but even better with some butter! You could also add dried fruits to the recipe to give it some additional flavors.
On a final note, I always use a convection oven. I have heard from several of my cooking teachers that it cooks more evenly. I hear a lot of people say that it cooks a lot faster. For me, when I cook meats, I only check doneness with a thermometer. When I make cookies, I know they are done most of the time by the look of them. Breads … well, I am learning about breads now. Apparently 200 degrees is the golden number. I should have remembered that today as I think the bread could have handled another 5+ minutes in the oven. (another possible bread failure???)
In case you were wondering … I worked out twice this weekend. Just so I could eat more … 🙂