Saturday, March 19, 2011

So You Think You Can Bake: Irish Soda Bread

Yay for random food blogging!

We had a theme day at work on St.Patrick's Day...ya know, to give the impression that we are a 'fun' workplace. Everyone was told to bring a dish and I opted for Soda Bread. My supervisor had a recipe printed out on the theme board from All Recipes.

So this is the recipe I originally used for normal Soda Bread:
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup margarine, softened
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup buttermilk

And the instructions:
1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
2.In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and margarine. Stir in 1 cup of buttermilk and egg. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round and place on prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush loaf with this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an 'X' into the top of the loaf.
3.Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 30 to 50 minutes. You may continue to brush the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes.

It was mad easy to make, which made me happy, because sometimes I tend to screw up in the baking department. But I got through making the dough with no cussing or tears.

Yay, bread dough!

I wound up mixing it with my hands in the bowl though, it was just easier then with the damn wooden spoon I found. Then I found out, I don't know how to knead dough...and I wasn't sure if that's what I was doing already by mixing with my hands. So I started to fold and then....massage, but in a non perverted way, the bread. That's really the only way I can describe it.

I also had no brush to brush on the butter/buttermilk I kind of dripped it on and then smoothed it with my hand.

It only took 45 minutes for it to cook. And it came out all perty like:

OK, that is supposed to be a clover on the top that I had cut into the bread before baking. Looking at it now, it looks like a penis (if I find this on cake wrecks, even though it's bread, I know who you are!).

Then, like always whenever I bake something that actually turns out right, I got this high, like I could do no wrong; which of course leads to experimental cooking/baking on my part.

I had this great idea to make a fruity version or whatnot of the bread for work, and one for home. I followed the exact version as above, only I juiced two blood oranges, because I am now obsessed with them and can never eat another regular orange..again...ever.

It's like a little cup of murder.

I also added a handful and a quarter (is that even a measurement of any kind?) of almond slivers. I was going to add raspberries, but then realized that that would be too messy with all the kneading and whatnot...and also I was sold fuzzy raspberries....thanks a lot store that rhymes with Moppers so I can not be sued for slander.

I was expecting the oranges to make the dough all pretty and reddish hued, but instead it turned out...grayish. I have no clue why. The extra juice didn't affect the dough, except for making it a little more sticky and that was it. So I thought, fuck it! I'll add another orange or two worth of juice to the next batter and maybe that will up the color.


Just guess which side has two oranges and which has three to four. It's like how there's always the ugly twin, this is how I felt. I even turned the pan so the larger dough was more towards the back in the oven. I tried to knead it....big mistake. I had to wind up putting about another 3/4 of a cup of flour on it to get it to be like that on the pan. The dough reminds me of when Spiderman poured water or whatever on that Sandman prick. I'm also pretty sure a good bit of it went down the drain when I had to scrub it off my hands.

So to recap on that, two oranges...fine. Three to four...bad!

Then I but the butter/buttermilk combo on top and dusted it with ginger and cinnamon. Since my camera on my new phone takes shitty pictures I was unable to get a shot of them when they came out. The weird thing is that they go into the oven grey....but come out green. I swear. I don't know how or why, but that's what happened. I guess my people would call it a St.Paddy's Day miracle?

I had to wind up cooking the Blood Orange Soda Bread for another 5-10 minutes longer than the first one. Both came out tasting like yummy win, even the ugly one, so yay for that.


  1. There's no such thing as ugly as long it tastes good. I love baking and experimenting.

  2. Nice recipe, gonna try it out! Followed!


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