Topic: Soda Bread
Happy St Patricks Day
I could’t let the holiday go this year without sharing with you one of my favorite recipes and a small bit of history!
Until recently, for the most families in rural Ireland, travel meant infrequent trips to the nearest livestock market. So yeast was hard to obtain and bought bread was a rarity. The traditional bread of Ireland was made at home, baked in a he4avy iron pot set over a peat fire, with hot peats covering the lid. These breads are quickly made, with no lengthy kneading or rising requirement. They are given a light texture and a wonderful taste by a combination of acidic buttermilk or soured milk and the alkaline baking soda.
*Soda breads are made to be eaten soon after baking.
Note: In the original recipe self-rising flour is used.
If you go this route you may follow the recipe below but omit the baking powder and baking soda from the recipe.
I converted the recipe for my own use and have made it several times with excellent results.
Also the original recipe used 4 squares of semisweet chocolate, which I tried but changed to chips for a more even distribution of the chocolate.
Irish Chocolate Chip Soda Bread
3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons butter — cold,diced
4 ounces milk chocolate chips
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and grease one baking sheet. You may use parchment paper or a sillpat on the baking sheet instead.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the diced butter and rub in using the tips of your fingers, lifting your fingers well above the bowl to get plenty of air into the mixture. When the mixture looks like bread crumbs, stir in the chocolate, then mix to a form dough with the buttermilk.
Turn out the dough onto a floured work surface and knead for a few seconds. Shape into a round loaf about 1 1/4 inches thick. Put onto prepared baking sheet and score into 8 triangles.
Bake immediately for 30-35 minutes or until the loaf turns a golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Eat warm straight from the oven.
Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 281 Calories; 9g Fat (28.3% calories from fat); 7g Protein; 45g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 16mg Cholesterol; 296mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 0 Non-Fat Milk; 2 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.
*Once thoroughly cooled, the loaf can be frozen for up to a month. Thaw completely, then warm before eating.
Serving Ideas: Serve warm with butter, clotted cream, and a fine Irish tea.
Recipe By: Joanna Linsley-Poe
Serving Size : 8
Categories: Quick Breads
“Adapted from a recipe in “Country Breads of the World “by linda Collister and Anthony Blake”
Yield: “1 loaf”
photos from “Country Breads of the World“