Beer has long been a favorite with people, and over years, it has transformed into a beverage with lots of varietals, almost like Wine! And its fan following is increasing too – the other day, I saw one of my colleagues sporting a Jack Daniel’s T-shirt, and I asked him about it, he said he is supporting his favorite beverage by browsing WearYourBeer.com for Jack Daniels merchandise!! Anyways, you don’t have to be Irish, nor a beer fan, to enjoy this Soda Bread. It is quick and easy, and a recipe that will not fail you. Serve it warm, with some Herbed Butter on the side, and a glass of your favorite Beer, and enjoy the Irish heritage, right from the comfort of your home. Now I only wish I could bring the natural beauty of Ireland to my backyard!
[Recipe courtesy of Woman’s Day Kitchen; photo by Iain Bagwell]
Irish Brown (Soda) Bread
Yields 3-4 Medium-sized Loaves
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup quick oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
2 Tbsp honey
few raisins (optional)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with vegetable spray.
In a large bowl, mix flours, oats, wheat germ, baking soda and salt.
Whisk together buttermilk and honey. Add to flour mixture; stir in the raisins, if using, and combine until soft dough forms.
Turn the dough out onto floured surface. Divide in half. Shape each half into a round loaf. Using a sharp knife, you can cut an X into the top of each loaf, to help even baking. You can even sprinkle some additional oats on the top for added texture.
Place loaves 3 in. apart onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
Now reduce the temperature to 400°F. Continue baking 10 minutes longer or until bread sounds hollow when tapped. It should be crusty on the top, but airy and hollow within. Remove from oven and let it cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
This is a very healthy and filling Brown Bread recipe, and very Irish too, as far as the ingredients go! You can serve it warm with some orange marmalade, or with a hot beverage, topped with some fresh melted butter.
There are several things to do with baking soda, and this is just one of them. It is so good, and so versatile, you can bake it any time you want, and not just wait for St.Patrick’s Day!