I made Irish soda bread last year on St. Patrick's Day for the first time in a long time-see last year's post here. I wish I thought of it more often-it's very easy to make and very yummy. I especially like it with smashed avocado or with a spoonful of our wild berry preserves. It's hearty and rustic and everything I love. This time around I used extra virgin olive oil in place of the earth balance and it came out perfectly-the texture and crumb were fine.
Today Iley helped make these. I's such a joy to see him take an interest in cooking at such a young age. I make it a point to have him help prepare our meals each day, to involve him in the process so he can respect where our food comes from and how it is made. So far he is very enthusiastic about the whole process and I can only hope that seed grows into a passion.
This recipe makes 2 loaves, so if you're so inclined, you can gift one to friends or family. We gifted one to Iley's aunt, uncle and cousin, whom we met up with at the local coffee shop to listen to some live Irish folk music in the afternoon. Unfortunately little I and I arrived a bit late and only caught the last performance, but the cousins played outside for hours and then we all made a visit to our favorite bookstore for some curios. Today was a good day. Happy St. Patty's to all you Irish and Irish-at-heart!
The Recipe (adapted from Martha Stewart Living)
- 1 1/3 Cups unsweetened soymilk
- 1/3 Cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 Cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 Cup whole-wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt (optional)
- 4 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 Cup unprocessed wheat bran
- 1/4 Cup caraway seeds
- 1 cup dried currants
Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. with rack in middle. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix soymilk and vinegar in measuring cup, and let stand until thickened, about 5 min.
Whisk together flours, salt, baking powder and baking soda in large bowl. Cut in olive oil using your hands until mixture resembles a coarse meal.
Add bran, caraway seeds and dates and stir to distribute.
Pour soymilk mixture into flour mixture and stir until dough just holds together but is still sticky. Divide dough in half. Turn half of dough onto lightly floured surface. Pat and press the dough gently into a round, dome-shaped loaf. Repeat with remaining dough.
Dust loaves with flour and transfer to prepared sheet. Cut an X into the top of each loaf. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until they are golden brown, about 1 hour. Tester should come out clean.