Bread and Blarney

My friends, I have returned! I was searching for something to make for you today, and I ran across Martha Stewart’s recipe for Irish Soda Bread. My initial reaction was one of confusion.

How exactly is the soda involved here?

However, upon reading the recipe, I discovered that the name comes from the baking soda used to leaven the bread. LEARNING!

*IRISH SODA BREAD:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons caraway seeds (I might have skipped these. Maybe.)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (You can freeze what you don’t use.)
  • 2 large eggs

To begin, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a baking sheet.

Check out that slick butter action.

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Don’t forget to add the salt like I did. It makes things awkward later.

In a separate bowl whisk together butter, eggs, and buttermilk. Something weird happens if you let this mix sit for about five minutes. I don’t know what kind of shenanigans were going on in there, but I ended up with this large chunk of butter bopping around.

Unplanned child of Buttermilk and Butter?

Fortunately, I was able to whisk everyone back into submission.

Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients, and mix to form a dough. This will require a bit of muscle since the dough is pretty sticky. You will discover this when you go to transfer the dough to a cutting board for kneading. In my case, it went like this:

Psh...I can totally handle this dough.

Erm...okay...this is kind of sticky.

Dammit.

This is when disaster struck. I’m talking a full blown kitchen disaster that had the potential to derail this entire post. The very minute my hands were immersed in dough…..

Ke$ha came on my Pandora.

NO GOD PLEASE NO!

There was nothing I could do. The forced exposure lead to a brief moment of insanity, which I recorded below:

This stuff is serious. Don’t mess around.

Once you’ve sorted out the dough situation, it’s time to start kneading. You’ll want to flour the board to keep the dough from getting stuck. Knead and rotate for about four minutes, or until the dough starts to blister. Over-kneading will make the bread tough, so pay attention.

I knead you!

Form the dough into a nine inch ball, and place on the buttered baking sheet.

That's totally nine inches, right?

Score an X on the top with a sharp knife.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, until you can insert a knife all the way through and it comes out clean.

While you’re waiting for the bread to bake, there’s a number of things you can do.

Watch the bread rise.

Contemplate your life.

Catch up on your Shakespeare.

See how many raisins can fit on your nose. (7)

Be judged by your cat.

Cry about your life.

By this point, your bread should be done! I was shocked by how much bigger it became in the oven. It smells amazing, and it looks like giant chocolate chip cookie.

Happy St. Patrick’s day!!!

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March 17, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Cooking.

4 Comments

  1. Jane Litchfield replied:

    Well done, little lady. A little warm butter, a super iced Americano, and we’re good to go! I guess you can tackle the corned beef and cabbage next year.

    • kcrownover replied:

      That iced Americano sounds so good right now. I love corned beef, it’s definitely on the list for next year!

  2. Jen replied:

    Oh my god, this made me laugh so hard. Almost peed my pants. I adore you.

  3. kcrownover replied:

    Shucks girl, thanks!

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