Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Irish Soda Bread

Getting back to the Scottish stew I never got to eat this week, I also baked some Irish Soda Bread to go with it, which I did get to eat. It was a sort of disjointed tribute to the UK or something. I love homemade bread in any form. The benefit of doing soda bread is, of course, you don't have to knead it for more than a minute and you don't have to wait for it to rise. You can have the whole shebang in the oven in about five minutes.

I had a lot of issues to consider when making this bread... raisins or no raisins? Half raisins? All whole wheat, half whole wheat, no whole what? One recipe? A half recipe? Which recipe? In the end I made a half recipe of the Soda Bread from The Joy of Vegan Baking, all whole wheat, no raisins. My only mistake with the half recipe part. I saw 4 cups of flour and 2 cups of milk and thought it would make much too much bread for the two of us, and it totally would have, half was plenty for two with some left over... but mmm homemade bread?! I should have made more. But of course, it's so fast and easy I could just throw another loaf in the oven and bake it up anytime I like :) I didn't make too many changes to the original recipe other than halving it, and using white whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour, and I used apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar (I really feel like that's more for cleaning than eating! ACV is so much milder. Plus I only have white vinegar in a gallon jug and I thought pouring a tsp out of that would be a mess). Also I used soymilk when you can use "any milk" but soymilk curdles so much better than rice or almond. And so, here's a recipe for a small loaf of soda bread adapted from JOVB.

Irish Soda Bread
1 cup soymilk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 cups white whole wheat flour + a little extra if the dough is too sticky
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp melted earth balance or other margarine of your choice

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and lightly grease a round cake pan (it can be way bigger than your final loaf, it's just a place for it to bake)

2. In a small bowl, combine the soymilk and vinegar and leave it to curdle for a few minutes.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients.

4. Mix the wet ingredients (margarine, milk mixture) with the dry and stir until you have a sticky dough.

... This is the point where I deviate from the recipe some more. The dough was WAY sticky for me. Like a thick cake batter sticky. I needed to add about 1/4 cup more flour to get it sticky, but into a ballable dough. Baker beware!

5. Knead the dough about a dozen times, form it into a ball, put it in the pan, and cut an X into the top with a serrated knife.

6. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the crust is golden and it sounds hollow inside if you knock on it.

7. Eat a slice as soon as it's cool enough to handle!! The fresh crust is so delicious!


Anonymous said...

I didn't know bread could be so easy. This is in my oven right now! I can't wait to taste it!

Masha said...

Mine is in the oven. Any bread baked at 5am should be good. However, since I haven't gone vegan (yet?), I used skim plus... and it didn't curdle. Being very impatient, I dumped it in anyway. I hope it turns out well. Also, I've never baked from scratch, so this is a whole new adventure. Thanks for sharing!