Friday, March 15, 2013

Irish Soda Bread



It's that time of year again, when my kitchen turns into an Irish Soda Bread factory. I make this all year long, but I especially like to make this for friends and family around St. Patrick's Day. It is so easy to make, and was probably the first recipe I ever made as a child. I hope you try it for your family this weekend.

The original recipe I grew up making called for 4 cups all purpose flour and a lot more sugar, and more raisins. This version is great, but to make this a little healthier, I substitute one cup of white whole wheat in place of one cup of all purpose flour. I have tried 2 cups of white whole wheat flour, and an assortment of other flours, but my family prefers the 3 to 1 ratio, actually, they really prefer when I make this with only all purpose flour, no whole wheat.
This is the first time I have added vital wheat gluten to my whole wheat version soda bread recipe, and I think it was a success. According to the brand I used, Arrowhead Mills , add up to 1 tablespoon of vital wheat gluten per cup of whole wheat flour to bread recipes to lighten the texture and promote a good rise. They claim it is the secret ingredient of professional bakers.

This makes 2 loaves, one to keep and one to give away, but once you try this you might want to keep both. Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Irish Soda Bread
Servings: Makes 2 loaves, each loaf has 8 servings. 
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30-35 minutes


Nutritional info per serving : 
Calories: 190 • Fat: less than 1g • Carbs: 39 g • Protein: 6 gFiber: 1.5 g
 Ingredients: 
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons vital wheat gluten (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cups lowfat buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins ( I use half golden and half of the darker kind)
     
    Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 375°F . Grease large baking pan with butter or non-stick spray and set aside.

    2. Rehydrate raisins by placing in a bowl and pour boiling water over them to cover. Let sit for five minutes and drain.
    3. Add flour through sugar in one large bowl and stir with a whisk to blend. 
    4. Add egg to buttermilk in a separate bowl, then add to dry ingredients.
    5. Flour your hands and counter and dump mixture out  to finish incorporating all of the milk and flour mixture into one large dough ball. Don't over mix this. It is a very sticky dough and your hands will have dough stuck to it.
    6. Divide into 2 balls and place both on a large prepared baking pan. Cut the traditional cross in the top of the loaf and  bake for 30-35 minutes until knife inserted in center comes out dry.
    7. Cool on wire rack and enjoy plain or with butter and jam.

    This is best eaten warm. It is also good toasted the day after making if you have 
    any leftovers, which I doubt you will.


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