Things I’ve learned since I started blogging:
-dishwashers in restaurants are seriously underpaid and underappreciated.
-potato mashers make great pastry cutters in a pinch.
-professional taste testing would be my dream job.
-even when you make copious amounts of food, it finds a way to get eaten.
-because of previous statement, you exercise more.
-cameras function fine even when covered with flour, breadcrumbs and other foodstuffs.
-I’m glad I own the cheapest DSLR Canon makes.
-inspiration for recipes comes at really weird times. Standing in line at the post office, in the bathroom, while on conference calls about pipelines.
-I don’t give myself enough credit.
We’re one week out from St. Patrick’s Day and while I have never celebrated or even worn green (it’s not my color) on the actual day, I’ve been thinking about Irish soda bread. For some reason, I assumed it was difficult and there was no way I could make it. I’ve done this before and tend to do this anytime it comes to baking, especially bread.
I think it’s mostly a fear of not being perfect rather than legitimately thinking I can’t. I was the kid that didn’t try walking until I could pretty much do it flawlessly. Me and perfection, we go waaaay back.
But guess what?
Soda bread is probably one of the easiest breads out there. A little research, a little brainstorming and I just got in the kitchen, mixed some stuff together, put a pretty little “X” on the top and shoved it in the oven.
I wanted this bread to be different than most soda breads though because let’s be honest, soda bread is usually kind of blah.
So I tweaked and probably corrupted the soda bread in some eyes and added more sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.
The result is like a cinnamon bun meets soda bread with the best parts of each. No rising time, no rolling out, barely any kneading but a subtle hint of cinnamon bun flavor without the heart attack levels of butter.
- 3 cups all purpose unbleached flour
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 tablespoons cold butter, diced
- 1 cup raisins (I mixed half/half regular & golden)
- 2 eggs, beaten & divided
- 2 cups buttermilk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- extra cinnamon & sugar for topping
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a dutch oven or cast iron skillet. Alternatively, a baking sheet will work as well.
- Combine flours, salt, sugar, cinnamon and baking soda in a large bowl.
- Add in diced butter and cut into flour with either a fork, pastry cutter or potato masher until flour is the consistency of coarse meal.
- Add in raisins and toss to coat in flour mixture.
- Combine milk and vanilla in a small bowl and then pour into large bowl with the flour. Add 1 beaten egg as well.
- Bring wet and dry ingredients together with a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula.
- Turn out onto floured surface and knead 5-10 times until dough just comes together, don’t over handle the dough.
- Form into a ball and place in dutch oven or skillet.
- Score bread making an “X” on top with a serrated knife.
- Brush bread with remaining beaten egg and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown.
- Let cool on a wire rack.