March 18, 2013

Irish Soda Bread

This weekend was St. Patrick's day, also known as my anniversary, so it's a pretty exciting weekend in our house!  In honor of our mutual Irish heritage I decided to try out something totally new - Irish Soda Bread.  Joe is especially fond of dense breads, and this is super simple and takes very few ingredients so it was destined to be a great new addition to our recipe book.

I based my creation off of this recipe.

The Ingredients:

1 cup buttermilk - OR - 1 cup milk and 1 tsp vinegar stirred together and left to sit for 10 minutes

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 Tbs sugar

Mix dry ingredients, stir in buttermilk.

If it's too sticky, add some flour.  If it's too dry and won't stick together, add a dab of milk.  It probably won't be perfect.

You can also add exciting things like nuts or dried cranberries or more sugar, but it was my first time so I went basic.

TOO STICKY!!!  Add more flour. 

Now that looks more like bread dough.

Don't forget one of the essential essential elements of Charm Hour- your drink of choice.
And you gotta go Irish on St. Patrick's Day if not always.  

 A tired-but-happy camper.  

So you have a ball of bread dough!  Flatten it out into a fat disk and cut a a cross across the top.  Rumors say it lets fairies out, but according to a google search it actually just makes it easier to break into quarters.  Which is does.  Plus I like thinks traditional, so why not?

 Optional: Cook in a skillet on the stove top for 10-15 minutes.

So according to internet you can do this in a skillet first (ideally cast-iron, but seriously, who has one?). I put a tidge on corn meal on the bottom to make it slide around easier in the pan and I had it in my cabinet. I greased  my pan with a very small bit of bacon fat, but butter would be fine.  Cook on lowish for 10 to 15 minutes or until it's been rising and the bottom is sturdy and browning. Slide into a pan!

OR you could just cook it in the oven the whole time. Ours took about half an hour.  Just look for it to be a yummy brown and crusty enough you can tap on the crust.

We're double timing with some potato chips down there. 


So for the rest of the meal we made a big steak seasoned with garlic salt, garlic pepper, and coarse rock salt.

And homemade potato chips.  They are SO easy and taste way better.  

Side Track: Potato Chips Recipe
Spray a foil-covered cookie sheet with olive oil Pam. Slice up your potatoes and spread them out (it's okay if they overlap a little.  Sprinkle with pepper and rock salt (or your favorite seasoning).  Bake on 350 for 10 minutes, flip them over and cook another 10-20 minutes.  

They take longer if they're cut thicker.  Mine are never consistent, so I eat them as I go and remove the brown ones when I flip which is why this pan is sparse.  Joe and I already ate two rounds before this shot was taken.  There are never any left by the time we actually eat our meal.  

Homemade potato chips- healthier and unspeakably delicious.

What were we talking about?  Oh yes- the bread.


 The wedge.

 The cross is apparently important?

 I seriously love butter.

DINNER. (Don't worry, we split that steak).

And of course, another lovely beverage for dinner.


And happy anniversary to my amazing boyfriend Joe.
I can't thank you enough for all you've done for me.

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