Inspired by coll and petradish, I decided that I HAD to make Irish soda bread last night. What's great about the recipe that I inherited from my Irish-American friend, Anne, is that it is super easy to throw together and contains pantry staples. See photo of warm-from-the-oven bread below.
I know there has been some curiosity about "authentic" soda bread, but like many recipes, it varies by family. Anne's recipe was most definitely passed down to her over generations. While some recipes call for buttermilk, this recipe uses a mock mixture of milk and cider vinegar. I noticed that other recipes posted don't always have sugar, but this recipe has a couple of TB, which does give it a light sweetness that I like. You can reduce the sugar if you like.
Mine seemed to have too much moisture after adding the egg and milk mixture, so I just kneaded in some more flour til it had the right feel. It looked quite small before baking, but doubled in size in the oven. The result was a fluffy, near crumbly interior w/ some earthiness from the wheat flour and a hint of sweetness from the sugar. Not much sour flavor. Crust was thin and crisp. Took petradish's lead and slathered on some Kerrygold butter which brought out the sweetness even more. Ate it w/ a rustic dish of stewed chicken legs and thighs and white emergo beans...the best kind of peasant meal! Hope others will share their recipes and stories. Happy St. Patrick's Day all!
Anne's Irish Soda Bread
1 TB cider vinegar
scant 3/4 c. milk
1 c. AP flour
1 c. brown flour (I used whole wheat)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1.5 tsp. baking powder
2 TB sugar
2 TB margarine or butter, cut into little pieces
1 egg, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 350F. Put cider vinegar into measuring cup and fill w/ milk til it reaches 3/4 c. In bowl, mix together flours, salt, baking soda and powder, and sugar. Run whisk through to mix and break up any clumps. Cut in margarine or butter. Add egg and milk mixture. Mix w/ fork til dough comes together. If too wet, add a little more flour. If too dry, add a little water.
Turn out onto counter or board, sprinkle w/ a little flour, and knead for a min. or two til dough really comes together and is smooth. Form into a ball and score w/ an "X" or "#". Bake til crust has browned and hardened and hollow sound is heard when you lightly tap on it, about 30-35 min.