I was planning on making Irish Soda Bread for St. Patrick's Day, but ran out of time. So I whipped up a loaf later when things slowed down a bit. I used a super simple, no-fail recipe that I had written in my recipe book at least five years ago.
Irish Soda Bread
3 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup buttermilk (or substitute 1 cup milk + 1 Tablespoon lemon juice mixed)
1 handful of trail mix, for those who also love nutty breads
  1. Mix flour, salt, and baking soda.
  2. Cut in the butter until mixture resembles course meal.
  3. Add buttermilk and stir until moistened.
  4. Turn out the ball of dough and knead for 1 minute. Pat into a round, approximately 9 inches. Transfer to a buttered baking sheet and cut a large cross on top.
  5. Bake at 425 F for 40 minutes. The loaf will sound hollow when done.

There's something so satisfying about pulling a lovely loaf of bread out of the oven. It smelled so good baking and bread seems so daunting that the fact that it came out recognizable as a loaf of bread was delightful. You should have seen me knocking on the loaf with my ear to the crust, looking as if I expected someone to knock back and call out - come in to my loaf! because I'm sure I looked silly.

After the glee that I had produced bread wore off, I decided that Irish Soda Bread is good, but is better with butter...and even better with something fruity...something butter. So I used the Granny Smiths I had to make an apple butter that was delicious. I wasn't sure how it would turn out using Granny Smith apples, which aren't typically used for apple butter, but I have to say I was more than pleasantly surprised. Some apple butters tend to be very sweet and very clove-heavy. The tartness of the apples enhanced the sweet and the clove tastes.

I have to admit that I didn't measure anything for the apple butter. I just threw in the ingredients and surveyed by sight.

Apple Butter (Roughly)

3 apples

1/2 cup of sugar

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

pinch of salt

  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and add water just to cover the bottom.
  2. Bring to a boil and cook on medium heat.
  3. Stir and mash the apples and continue to cook.
  4. Cook. Cook. And cook some more. Until a dark brown color and thick enought to spread.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've never made Irish soda bread. Your loaf looks perfect. I'm sure it was delicious.