Thursday, March 18, 2010

Irish Soda Bread - Part 2

Yesterday I told you about my first disastrous attempt at Irish soda bread. If you missed the post, suffice it to say, the recipe was a total flop. After throwing the bread in the trash, I wasn’t really feeling the love for the Irish soda bread. I thought about throwing in the towel and moving on to greener pastures, but I promised you another (better) soda bread, so I preserved. I know, so selfless.

I am, however, glad I sucked it up and tried another recipe. This Irish Wheaten Bread (aka brown soda bread) was worth it. The dough came together easily and formed a nice sized loaf. When it came out of the oven, the crust was lightly sweet and crunchy, and the inside was moist and flavorful. I cut off a couple of slices for us to sample plain, and then I wrapped the rest up and popped it in the freezer. I plan to thaw it out this weekend and serve it with some good butter and a side of eggs. I can’t think of a more perfect weekend breakfast.

Irish Wheaten Bread (Brown Soda Bread)
Adapted from Our Best Bites

1 cup bread flour
2 3/4 cups whole-wheat flour
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. granulated sugar
4 T. butter (I used unsalted)
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
For Topping:
1 T. buttermilk or regular milk (I used skim milk because I was out of buttermilk)
1 tsp. granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray or canola oil.

In a large bowl, whisk together the bread flour, whole-wheat flour, salt, baking soda, and 2 teaspoons of sugar.

Cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter is the size of small crumbs.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk and canola oil. Using a rubber spatula, stir the dough together until it is completely moistened.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough a few times until it you can form it into a ball. Gently flatten the top of the loaf.

Place the loaf onto the prepared baking sheet, reshaping if necessary. Use a sharp knife to cut an X into the top of the loaf.

Brush the top of the loaf with the remaining buttermilk or milk and then sprinkle with the remaining sugar.

Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees. Rotate the baking sheet and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Cool the loaf on a wire cooling rack for 15 minutes before slicing.

Serve warm with butter.

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