Sunday, March 20, 2011

Irish (Sort of) Soda Bread

I'd never made Irish soda bread up until a month ago, when I made a very traditional recipe from the back of the King Arthur Flour wheatmeal flour package. This recipe from Melissa Murphy's The Sweet Melissa Baking Book wasn't as traditional so I took it in a different direction. I didn't have currants and don't like cloves, so I went with golden raisins, dried cherries and pistachios, plus cinnamon.

Irish soda bread is so easy to make that it was in the oven in 10 minutes and came out at the perfect time to serve with some lentil soup for lunch. It was delicious with the cinnamon, fruit and nuts...not traditional but just perfect.

Julie of A Little Bit of Everything chose this recipe for Sweet Melissa Sundays. Thanks, Julie, for selecting this recipe for us. We enjoyed it a lot.

If you'd like the original recipe, Julie has it for you here. And you can how the other SMS bakers liked it here. If you'd like to make it the way I did, here's the recipe my way.

Irish (sort of) Soda Bread - (adapted from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book)

Printer friendly recipe

1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon Vietnamese cinnamon
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk

Position a rack in the center of your oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

In a medium bowl, combine the raisins, dried cherries and pistachios and set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the egg and buttermilk and set aside. In a bowl of of electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Add the cold butter pieces and mix on low speed until the butter is the size of small peas. 

Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Be sure to scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl to combine thoroughly. Do not over mix. Add the fruit and nuts to the dough and mix on low speed for 20 seconds.

Turn the dough onto the lined sheet pan. Kneed the dough lightly, pressing the dough into one large round - or divide it in half to form two small rounds. Don't over handle.

Using a sharp knife, cut the traditional "X" cutting about 1 1/2 inches deep into the top. Bake for 20 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake for an additional 20 minutes for the large loaf, or 10 minutes for the smaller loaves. The loaves will be golden, and a wooden skewer inserted into the center wil come out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool. It's best the day you make it, but it can be tightly wrapped and stored for a couple of days, or frozen for one month.

Yield: One 3-pound Loaf


Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

I love your twist on traditional Irish bread. Dried fruit and nuts is a fabulous combination.

Tessa said...

Glad it ended up working well for your lunch. I definitely enjoyed the simplicity as well! I'm curious as to which recipe (SMS or KAF) that you enjoyed more?

Julie said...

Love the changes you made to the recipe, cherries would be delicious. Thanks for baking along with me!

Sweet and Savory said...

I love your fillers, each one sounds better than the one before.

I think you should give online baking lessons.

Mimi said...

It looks so delicious. It's always nice to change up a traditional recipe.

Tracey said...

I completely forgot to bake the soda bread this week - ooops! It seems like it was universally well received so I definitely need to bookmark it for St Paddy's Day next year :) I prefer a non-traditional soda bread too, yours sounds yummy!

Mary said...

I am 25% irish but 100% a fan of irish soda bread. NIce job.

Hanaâ said...

I love your changes. Can't go wrong with that. And cinnamon makes (almost) anything taste better :o) Btw, it's Melissa Murphy ;o)

Sofia said...

We think a like! A Little bit Irish and a lot of Tradition on my St. Patty's Day blog.

Cooking With Friends said...

A Little Bit Irish and a lot of Tradition was my St. Patty's Day blog. We think alike!

Anonymous said...

Leslie, I love the addition of my favorite nut, pistachios, in this Irish Soda Bread. I usually don't flip over Irish Soda Bread, too dry, bland and crumbly - making me crave liquids profuesly, but Melissa's addtions definitely make it a lot more interesting, plus, I have the book! Your take looks yummy..and I don't think I would need a cow or well beside me to eat it. LOL