Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Irish brown soda bread

Irish brown soda bread

While I'm getting in touch with my heritage, I figured I'd move on to another country my people are from: Ireland. This is appropriate, seeing as it's the time of year when St. Patrick's Day rolls around -- I've got a craving for corned beef, so I figured, why not make traditional soda bread for corned beef sandwiches?

That's traditional soda bread, mind you. You may think that soda bread is sweet stuff with raisins in it, but the truth is that while that kind is delicious, it's not traditional. Soda bread, really, is just bread made with baking soda, as opposed to yeast -- it reacts with an acidic ingredient, usually buttermilk, and that reaction makes the bread rise.

I have to say, this recipe's delicious. And it's healthy, too, which is always a plus. And it's easy. The only issue I had was that I overbaked it a bit, again, 'cause I got distracted while it was in the oven. And it didn't rise so much -- but seeing as it's a wheat bread, and hard flours inhibit rising, that makes sense. I might alter the flour ratio a bit next time, just a bit, just to see if I can get a better rise.

Irish Brown Soda Bread
From "Cooking Light"

2 1/2 c wheat flour
1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c steel-cut oats
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp wheat germ
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 c buttermilk

1. Whisk all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
2. Whisk the egg and buttermilk together in a small bowl, then pour it into the other bowl. Mix until just combined.
3. Spoon into a greased 9-by-5 loaf pan.
4. Bake at 325 degrees for about an hour, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
5. De-pan and cool on a rack.

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