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Posts Tagged ‘Buttemilk’


Happy (almost) St. Patrick’s Day! You know what this means. No, not green beer. It means a shortage of caraway seeds. I went to three grocery stores before I finally found them and then managed to lose them in the house for twenty minutes (They were sitting on the table. I don’t know how I missed them).

This is the first time I’ve made soda bread and it was wonderful! Cooking the bread in a skillet gives it a nice crunchy crust, with a moist scone-like interior. Delicious. About that skillet though – I used an 11 inch pan, instead of a 10 inch skillet. It turned out fine, though a nice cast iron skillet would probably result in prettier browning. But your generic pan will be fine, as long as it is at least 10 inches wide and can go in the oven.

However, this is not “real” soda bread. According to Melissa Clark, no one in Ireland eats soda bread, and when they do, it it made of flour, buttermilk, salt and baking soda. No eggs, no butter, no caraway seeds, no currants. What I love most about the article (and Melissa Clark), is that after making real hardcore soda bread, she decided that it is terrible and that authenticity is overrated. I concur. I’m not sure I could deal with baking something that didn’t have butter.

A note about baking powder. This recipe requires a good deal of it. Make sure yours is fresh by putting a pinch (about a teaspoon) of it in a cup of hot water. If it fizzles, it is still good. I recommend buying organic baking powder or making your own to avoid any ingredients that have aluminum (which results in that metallic taste and green/blue color).

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