March 17, 2010

Irish Soda Bread, two ways

Today I made my traditional corned beef dinner. However I found this recipe for Soda bread made with herbs and decided to try it. My bf doesn't like raisins or currants tho but I do. This recipe doesn't call for it. So I thought Id make it. Somehow tho to me, I need that touch of sweet. So since I once had something long ago traditionally sweet that someone added herbs to, that I just loved...I decided to do that to this.

So to make us both happy I made the dough and cut it in half. I added raisins that I soaked to soften to one half and made the other as the recipe said. While this is tasty either way, I'm glad I tried it my way. If I had a choice I'd would make this with raisins in the whole loaf. So if you have someone who hates fruit in this.....just know this works either way.

Irish Soda Bread with Herbs and with or without Raisins
 4 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Dill Weed
1 teaspoon Tarragon
1 teaspoon Thyme
3 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 1/2 cups Buttermilk
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
1 Egg Yolk
1 tablespoon Water

opt. 1/4c. raisins if you split this dough, for the whole recipe add 1/2c. 

Preheat the oven to 325° F. (If you are using raisins, soak in a bit of warm water, when plump, drain well and set aside.) In mixing bowl, combine 4 cups flour, the herbs, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Mix on low speed of electric mixer with paddle attachment for 2 minutes. 
(If you add raisins, take a few tbs. of this mixture and add the raisins to this, mix well and set aside.)

Whisk together the buttermilk and vegetable oil in a mixing bowl. 
 Gradually add the buttermilk mixture to the combined dry ingredients while mixing on low speed and continue to mix until the dough forms a ball, about 30 seconds. Scrape the dough away from the paddle and turn the dough ball over. Mix on low speed for about 30 seconds longer. Transfer the dough ball to a floured surface and knead until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Form the dough into a round loaf, pinching and twisting the bottom a bit to make the loaf taller. (Cut in half if adding raisins to half and knead them in now. Otherwise if making a raisin loaf add them with the flour. This is so you can have half and half.)

 Place the loaf, pinched side down, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a nonstick silicone liner. (I used two smaller pottery pie plates lined with parchment since I was making two different kinds.) In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water, then lightly brush the mixture over the top of the loaf. Score the loaf by cutting a 1/4-inch deep "X" into the top. Bake the loaf in the preheated 325° oven for 50 to 55 minutes. (In my convection oven, with two smaller loaves, they took about 40min.) The bread is done when a hollow sound is heard when the bottom is tapped with your finger. 

Allow the bread to cool to room temperature before slicing.