Saturday, March 17, 2012

Celebrate St. Patty's Day... Irish soda bread

So tonight I am making a full on corned beef and cabbage meal to celebrate St. Patty's Day, but I started the bread early so I didn't have to worry about it. Irish soda bread is really quick and easy to make and it is delicious! It requires no time to rise and it uses few ingredients, making it a great bread recipe to have on hand. The bread rises with the help of baking powder, baking soda, and buttermilk (fermented milk). It is slightly sweet and sometimes has raisins or caraway seeds on top.

A little history... Last year I was talking to a lady on St. Patty's Day from Ireland who informed me that corned beef and cabbage is not traditional irish dish at all.  Sometimes bacon and cabbage would be served with potatoes, but corned beef is more for tourists and not native cuisine. Corned beef and cabbage grew in popularity with the Irish immigrants settled in the Northeast

Now I know that corned beef is loaded with sodium, but once a year won't kill ya! Just enjoy it and serve with plenty of vegetables (roasted onions, parsnips, celery, carrots) and limit the amount of potatoes!

I used King Arthurs White Whole Wheat Flour for this recipe, which has more fiber and nutrients than white flour, but is less hearty than whole wheat flour. The result: a wonderfully flavored and slightly healthier version of the tradition version!

Irish Soda Bread
Makes 1 loaf (12 servings)

3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
3 tsp baking powder
1 cup buttermilk*
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup golden raisins (optional)
1 Tbsp caraway seeds (optional)

*You may substitute 1 cup of low-fat milk, mix 1 Tbsp white vinegar and let set for 5 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Knead for 3 minutes and roll into a ball. Place on a greased iron cast dutch oven or cake pan and flatten slightly. Use a knife to cut an X shape into the top, about a 1/2 inch down. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Best when served warm!

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size  ( 73 g )
Amount Per Serving
Calories  186Calories from Fat 11
% Daily Value *
Total Fat  1g2%
Saturated Fat  0g2%
Trans Fat  0g
Cholesterol  18mg6%
Sodium  192mg8%
Total Carbohydrates  14%
Dietary Fiber  2g7%
Sugars  10g
Protein  6g15%
Vitamin A  1%Vitamin C  0%
Calcium  6%Iron  10%

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