Friday, December 6, 2013

Irish Soda Bread







About SodaBread:

Soda bread (Irisharán sóideScotsfardelSerbiančesnica/чесница) is a variety of quick bread traditionally made in a variety of cuisines in which sodium bicarbonate (otherwise known as baking soda) is used as a leavening agent instead of the more commonyeast. The ingredients of traditional soda bread are flourbread sodasalt, and buttermilk. The buttermilk in the dough contains lactic acid, which reacts with the baking soda to form tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide. Other ingredients can be added such as butter, egg, raisins or nuts.
Before the European settlement of the Americas, the Indigenous peoples of the Americas used soda or pearl ash, more commonly known as potash (pot ash) or potassium carbonate, as a leavening agent (the forerunner to baking soda) in quick breads. In modern times in the US, soda breads were first publicised by Amelia Simmons as a quick and cheap method of bread making in her bookAmerican Cookery, published in 1796. By 1824, The Virginia Housewife by Mary Randolph was published containing a recipe for Soda Cake.
In Europe, soda breads began to appear in the mid-19th century when bicarbonate of soda first became available for use as a rising agent. Breads, griddle cakes and scones with bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar or tartaric acid became popular in AustriaPolish cuisine and in the British Isles.Traditional soda bread, eaten in Serbian cuisine, also uses bicarbonate of soda, particularly the traditional česnica (Serbian Cyrillic: Чесница), a soda bread made at Christmas.
Serves 8

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 45 mins

Ingredients:

4 cups of All Purpose Flour
¼ cup of Granulated sugar
1-1/4 cups of Buttermilk
1 cup of Raisins
2 Eggs
1 tsp of Baking Soda
2 tsp of Baking Powder
¾ tsp of Salt
1/4 cup of Unsalted Butter, cold and cut into small cubes
Zest of ½ of an Orange.

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2) In a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, mix to combine.

3) Add the butter and mix it until the butter is distributed well throughout the dry ingredients and the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

4) In a small bowl or measuring jug, whisk together the buttermilk, orange zest and eggs and pour them in the flour mixture. Allow it to mix until the dough comes together but don't let it mix too long. Mix in the raisins very quickly at the last possible second.

5) Dump the dough on top of a well floured surface and knead it just enough to shape it into a round loaf.

6) Place the loaf on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, slice a deep X shape on top of the loaf and bake it for 45 minutes to an hour or until the bread feels hollow when tapped.

Allow to cool a bit before serving.

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