Aug 26, 2013

Irish Soda Bread for Jessica's Virtual 'Pot of Gold' Shower!

I don't know about you, but when a friend tells me that they are pregnant, I'm pretty much just as excited about their pregnancy as I am for my own.  I know how much joy I've come to know from having a baby and I'm always so excited when another friend is about to experience that amount of exuberation.  The sleepless nights, the dirty hair, the extra laundry, it's all so very worth it.  That tiny baby in your arms...*sigh*  I just don't think that there is anything better.

When Jessica  from Sunny Side Up announced that she was pregnant, I was so, so happy for her and her husband.  She might be an "Internet Friend" (we all know those are real friends, right?!), but I was just as excited as when my childhood BFF told me she was expecting!  I am so honored to be able to celebrate this time with one of my favorite bloggers. I've made countless things from Sunny Side Up, but my favorite by far is this Cookies and Cream cake. *drool*

Jess loves Irish dancing and has a very sweet Irish name in mind for her baby girl so what's more fitting than an Irish themed virtual shower?  When I was thinking about what I wanted to make, I kept coming back to Irish soda bread for a couple of reasons.  First, this bread comes together really quickly and easily with only a few ingredients.  Second, it can play double duty as part of a dinner (with soup/stew/etc.) or would be great with breakfast.  Third, a whole loaf can be made, then sliced and frozen for an easy grab out of the freezer.  Those are things that will make life so  much easier with a newborn!!

Basically, this bread is like a sturdy biscuit.  It's light but not overly airy, has a soft interior crumb but a crusty outside.  There are tons of variations to this bread but I went really simple without any add-ins.

Jess - If I could deliver a few loaves of this to guys myself, I definitely would!! I'm so excited for you to meet your new addition!

Head over to Krystal's and Jessica's blogs to see the full round-up!

Irish Soda Bread
Printable Version

3 cups all-purpose flour, lower protein preferred such as Gold Medal or Pillsbury
1 cup cake flour
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. cream of tartar
1 ½ tsp. salt
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened to room temperature, plus 1 tbsp. melted butter for brushing
1 ½ cups buttermilk

1. Place an oven rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the all-purpose and cake flours with the sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar and the salt.
3. Using your fingers, work the softened butter into the flour mixture until coarse crumbs appear.
4. Add the buttermilk to the flour mixture and mix with a fork just until the dough comes together. Flour a work surface and turn out the dough. Knead the dough together 12-14 times, just until it holds together (it will be bumpy).
5. Gently press the dough into a 6-inch round that is 2-inches high. Carefully transfer to the parchment lined baking sheet and score the top of the by creating an ‘X’ in the top that is about ¾ inch deep.
6. Place loaf into the oven and bake until it turns golden brown and a tester comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. (The loaf should register 180° on a thermometer.) Remove the loaf from the oven and brush with the melted butter. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, 30-40 minutes.

from The New Best Recipe from the editors of Cook's Illustrated


Jessica @ Sunny Side Up said...

Would you believe that in all my years of enjoying all things Irish and all my years of cooking and baking I have never made my own Irish soda bread?! I think I really need to do something about that and this looks like the perfect bread to start with! Thank you so much for contributing to my virtual shower! I love my Internet friends! :)

Jessica said...

Beautiful loaf of bread, Rachel! Thanks for making it to the shower! ;)

Amber said...

Can't have a party without bread! I am so glad you made this for the shower. Definitely something that I need to add to my must try list.

Nikki said...

I definitely love the ease of Irish soda bread! Yours looks great!!

Krystal R. said...

Irish soda bread is one of my weaknesses! It's always something that I have to buy at the grocery market but it's definitely something that I need to start baking up myself! Yours is a wonderful and a perfect addition to this party!!

Just Some Salt and Pepper said...

I really need to try this soon!

Kelsey said...

I love Irish soda bread. What a perfect addition to the shower. Looks great!

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