Monday, February 25, 2013

Soda Bread

"When owlish eyes are smilin'..."
(Yeah, we're doing an owl theme here)

This soda bread is my new favourite bread. I cannot believe how good it is. Usually, my attitude towards soda bread is that it was a bread that wanted to be a bannock. Well, I haven't tried wrapping this wround a twig and baking it over a campfire, but really, I couldn't expect more from a loaf of brown soda bread. The original recipe called for all manner of herbs-I thought that would be odd with the caraway and raisins, so I left them out. I skipped the wheat germ as well because I was too lazy to open a new box (that's the truth, god I'm pathetic). Still, I couldn't ask for better bread, and I know what I'll be having for breakfast tomorrow.

I used kefir in place of the buttermilk, as I always have that on hand.

The recipe comes from Beth Hensperger's wonderful book, The Best Quick Breads (and they are)

You Will Need:

2 cups plain flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat)
1/2 cup quick oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons bicarb
Pinch caraway seeds (I used about 1 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins
1 1/4 cups cold buttermilk
5 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet. Sift dry ingredients together.

In another bowl, combine buttermilk, melted butter, and egg. Whisk until combined. Add to the dry ingredients, and mix just until it comes together. Handle this dough as little as possible. Divide in two. Pat into rounds, and cut a cross in the top of each loaf. Bake 35-40 minutes or until brown and crusty. Cool loaves on the baking sheet.

Serve warm or cold, but bear in mind it slices best when cool, but crumbly soda bread is nice as everyone knows the crumbled pieces don't have calories.

I made some whipped butter to serve with the bread-perfect. 

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