Monday, March 19, 2012

Tuesdays with Dorie - Irish Soda Bread

St. Paddy's Day finally arrived!  I had been anticipating this holiday for weeks so I could make Irish soda bread to go with the traditional corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and carrots.  Since I'd never made soda bread before and simple recipes with just a few ingredients are often deceiving, I did a little research here and here.  Thanks to Galletista for providing the Epicurious link at the Tuesday's with Dorie Blog Roll where you can find links to the other TWD-BWJ blogs.

This bread is so simple and delicious I can't believe I haven't made it before.  You can see Marion Cunningham making soda bread with Julia Child here.  It takes just a few minutes to assemble and mix the ingredients and minimum handling to shape it.  No special pans needed...it can be baked in a pie plate.  The Irish peasants, who didn't have ovens, cooked theirs in cast iron pots called bastibles over an open turf fire.  The ingredients are things they would have had and could afford; wheat they had grown themselves for the flour, buttermilk left over from making butter, bread soda, and salt.




I couldn't wait for my dinner guests to arrive...I cut a slice, slathered it with some Kerry Gold butter and it was love at first bite!  It has a lovely, chewy crust and a dense, moist crumb and just a faint tangy taste from the buttermilk.  My dinner guests made fast work of devouring this loaf and I had to make another one for corned beef sandwiches and toast.  I can't wait to try the non-traditional version known as "soda cake" with some currants or other dried fruit and some orange zest.


Lessons learned:  I baked the loaf in a heavy Chantal pie plate which worked fine, but the bottom center crust was not quite as crisp as the rest of the loaf, possibly because of buttering the surface.  Next time, I'll place the pie plate on top of my pizza stone during baking or pull the loaf out of the plate and place it directly on the oven rack for the last few minutes.

This Tuesday's hosts are Carla of Chocolate Moosey and Cathleen of My Culinary Mission. You'll find the recipe at their blogs or you can buy the book by clicking on the image over here----->.

20 comments:

Kara said...

Pizza stone is a great idea!

smarkies said...

that is a good tip about the pizza stone / oven rack - thanks!

Gretchen Noelle said...

I will just echo that a pizza pan is a good idea. I did notice a difference between the top & bottom with the pie plate.

Flourchild said...

I used my pizza stone too..it worked well! Your bread looks great!

Heather said...

Your loaf looks fantastic! I debated about whether or not to use my pizza stone, I think I'll give it a shot next time.

Karen @ SoupAddict said...

It also works great in a cast iron pan - it comes out of the oven looking so beautiful and rustic in its iron cozy. (Great pic, btw!)

Alicia said...

Great idea with the pizza stone - I'll have to try that next time! Thanks for posting the video to Julia and Marian making it as well.

Teresa said...

I like the pizza stone idea, too. My mother often bakes hers in an earthenware tart pan.

Heather said...

I never would have thought to use my pizza stone - great tip. Love your pictures

Bev said...

Your bread looks scrumptious- no wonder your dinner guests devoured it- I made 2 loaves & the one cooked in a stone pan cooked wonderfully, compared to the one in an Emile Henry pie plate that stuck!!

Mary Hirsch said...

What I learned from youir Post: Why didn't I use Irish butter for my St. Patrick's Day Irish Soda Bread presentation. And, loved your "love at first bite" line. Me, too. I like reading other's Blogs and seeing their variations. Much more creative than me but I intend try those suggestions. I used a pyrex pie plate and had no problem with bottom crust although a pizza stone is a good idea. Mary

http://www.lightsonbrightnobrakes.com/

Ckay "Sweet and That's it" said...

Your loaf looks great!

I made mines with
- dried cranberries: great
- chocolate chips, raisins and natural vanilla extract / flour 50% plain, 50% APF: great
with raisins and cinnamo flour 50% plain, 50% APF: great

I just cannot stop baking it (and eating it) :-)

Cher Rockwell said...

This was pure simplictity - few ingredients, hardly any dishes to wash...

Catherine said...

Beautiful bread! Pizza stone a great idea. Thanks. See you in a couple weeks! Catherine @ www.praycookblog.com

Im At Home Baking said...

Looks nice :)

Lisa said...

Tasty looking loaf! I've used a baking stone for soda bread and it works very well.

Kathy said...

I never thouht of using my pizza stone…great idea! Lovely looking bread!

Julia said...

I used a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and thought it worked well. I'm sure a pizza stone would also work.

Amanda said...

Your loaf looks great! Reading about Irish peasants makes me grateful for all of the luxuries we enjoy now, like ovens and such.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

lucky guests! i also loved the tangy taste of this bread.