Monday, March 22, 2010

Irish Soda Bread

I love Irish Soda Bread and make sure to bake up a fresh loaf for St. Patty's Day every year.
This year's recipe comes from Baking Bites, and I really like the addition of oats here. I think I could have adjusted for altitude a little bit better, as my bread was sort of gummy (not really surprising, as my dough stayed pretty sticky)...but I strangely sort of like gummy bread centers so it worked.
I basically followed the recipe as posted, except substituted whole wheat pastry flour for about half the flour amount. Eaten warm with some melted butter, this was just the Irish Soda Bread perfection I was hoping for!

Oats and Honey Irish Soda Bread
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour*
1/2 cup quick cooking oatmeal
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp honey
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup raisins (I used golden raisins)

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Add in honey and buttermilk and stir until dough comes together. Stir in raisins. Dough should be only slightly sticky, so that it is easy to knead. If it is too dry, add an additional tbsp or two of buttermilk.
Keeping the dough in the bowl, knead it for 1-2 minutes, turning the dough, pressing it firmly with the heel of your hand, then turning the dough and repeating. Shape dough into a ball and place on prepared baking sheet. Flatten dough until it forms a disc about 1 - 1 1/2 inches thick.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until loaf is golden brown.
Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes on a wire rack before slicing.

Makes 1 loaf, serves 6.
* I used 1cup + 2Tbsp AP flour [extra 2 Tbsp for alt] + 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

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