Monday, March 21, 2011

Irish Soda Bread

I thought I would round out my recent ventures into boiled dinners with a recommendation for a soda bread recipe. No self-respecting piggy would eat so much boiled cabbage without at least the prospect of a thick slice of buttery, savory soda bread on the side. For special occasions, I really like the whole wheat millet soda bread in Veganomicon, but it's a little too rich for everyday fare. I also tried, but didn't have much success with, an oat-based soda bread from 101 Cookbooks. I couldn't say fairly whether the recipe or my cooking skills failed me, but I won't be making it again. Instead, I want to heartily recommend to you the following recipe from the blog Cakewalker. You can find his recipe and check out his blog here. The blogger says he adapted it from a recipe in the Los Angeles Times, and I followed it with just a couple changes. I also cut the recipe in half since I was only making it for two. This small loaf would do nicely for four people.

Here's what I did:

1/2 c currants
1 cup ap flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 t baking soda
1 1/2 t baking powder
3 T raw sugar
3/4 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1 T toasted caraway seeds
3 T vegan margarine
1 T cornstarch dissolved in 3 T water
1 T molasses (I used blackstrap)
2/3 c buttermilk (1 T vinegar + unsweetened non-dairy milk)

Preheat oven to 375. In a small bowl, cover raisins with hot water and let stand 5 minutes to plump. In a small skillet, toast caraway seeds briefly, just until fragrant. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. Cut in margarine with a pastry blender or strong fork until no big pieces remain. In a smaller bowl, mix the cornstarch mixture, molasses, and buttermilk. Add wet to the dry, stir in plumped currants, and mix thoroughly. Knead the dough briefly with your hands, adding a bit more flour as necessary. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Shape into a round loaf and score the top with an "x." Rub a bit more flour onto the top of the loaf and bake for 45-50 minutes.b

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