Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Irish Soda Bread for BBD#46

From time to time, when I have a rare, spare moment, I search the genealogy databases for information on my ancestors. One family line came straight from Ireland, a country that is at the top of my travel list.

This month, Bread Baking Day is hosted by Noor of Ya Salem Cooking. Her theme was to bake a bread from a place we would like to visit.

Well, Ireland is that place and Irish soda bread is the bread.

I found a recipe in one of my long-held cookbooks, and after doing some research, determined it was pretty close to authentic. I ended up with two delicious loaves, one of which is already gone. Slathered with butter and homemade blood orange marmalade, it makes a wonderful snack.

Noor should have the roundup posted around February 5 and it will be fun to see where everyone would like to go. For information on Bread Baking Day, head over to Zorra's website. She is the inspiration for this monthly event.

Irish Soda Bread
(adapted from Sunset Cookbook of Bread, 1973)

4 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1/8 teaspoon coriander
1/4 cup butter
1 egg
1 3/4 cups buttermilk

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.
Combine egg and buttermilk, add to dry ingredients, and mix until blended. Turn out onto a floured board and knead until smooth, 3-5 minutes.

Divide dough in half and shape each into a round loaf. Place each into a lightly greased 8" cake pan, and press dough until it fills the pan. Cut a cross on the tops.

Bake in a 375 degree F. oven for 35-40 minutes, until golden on top. Cool on racks.

Varieties: substitute 2 cups of whole wheat flour for 2 cups of the AP flour

Omit spices, if desired, and add 1 to 2 cups of raisins or currants.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

BBB: Cuban Bread

Good grief.

Where has January gone?

Work projects. And a disabled dog. And a large box of weekly vegetables. And some baking. Mostly work.

Thankfully, this month, Ilva, one of the Bread Baking Babes, chose a simple and delicious bread.

My only deviation was that my initial rise took more like 30 minutes than 15 minutes. I know the house was on the cool side, so, perhaps that's the reason.

Regardless, the bread was a success and the method was so intriguing that I will definitely be making it again.

For the Cuban Bread recipe, head over to Ilva's blog or check out the blogs of the other Babes. I highly recommend giving this bread a try.

(Oh yeah. I was clearly skimpy with the poppy seeds. I figured they would all fall off anyway, so was surprised when they stuck.)