It is true that everyone and their mother (bless her heart) is making and blogging about Irish Soda Bread this week, so I was thinking I probably shouldn’t. I am Scot-Irish, my husband German-Swiss, so our kids get the cool mixture of German-do-it-right and Irish-why-bother.
Many people of northern European descent are gluten-intolerant like me. The fact that I made a New Years vow to not let anything rot in my refrigerator and that it would cost too much to go fetch it from the store in my gas guzzling farm truck calls to the frugal Scot in me. Does all this give me the right to make Irish Soda Bread? You bet! We need this gluten free recipe. And once again, I would like to thank our hens Edith, Agnes and Margo for their contribution of the eggs that I only have to go as far as the barn to obtain.
Traditional Irish Soda Bread is simply made of flour, soda, sour or buttermilk and salt. I have made it that way and it’s nice, but I don’t waste my time on just “nice” now that I can’t eat most baked goods. I want spectacular. Sifting through recipes netted far too many options so I went with what seemed right to me. I used eggs, sugar, raisins, and caraway seeds, and, since I didn’t have buttermilk, I used a combination of plain yogurt and sour cream. Oh, and don’t forget the choices in gluten free flour. We never ever ever know how that’s going to make a recipe turn out. By the way, this recipe did turn out spectacular. It is heavenly soft and light and just slightly sweet. The caraway seeds added a bit of zest. I used a convection oven for this because it usually nets the best results.
It has occurred to me that many readers might be wondering why some recipes fail. I can’t tell you how many times distraction has caused me to leave out an important ingredient, so I have learned (and most of the time practice) to have measured and ready all the necessary ingredients. Once I’ve added an ingredient, I move the empty container to the other side of the work area. See how nicely organized this is?
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees (if convection, 340 degrees) and butter a pan at least 9″ round. Have measured and ready to go:
3 1/2 cups flour (gluten free I used 1/2 cup buckwheat, 1/2 cup sorghum, 2 1/2 cups rice blend flour)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 whole large eggs
8 ounces sour cream
8 ounces plain yogurt
2 Tablespoons caraway seeds (optional)
3/4 cup raisins (optional)
Add raisins and caraway seeds to mixture and either with the wooden spoon or by hand, mix until well-distributed throughout dough.
Once you have shaped it cut a cross lightly into the top with a knife, like this:
Place it in the oven and bake for approximately 50 minutes. Using the convection oven I had to bake it longer, but the test is when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out dry. You don’t want a gummy loaf of bread. It will also start to be golden around the edges and on top.
Once it is finished, place it on a rack to cool a bit before slicing.
There will be some flour on top but, not to worry, you can spread a bit of butter over the warm loaf. It is beautiful, and, as you can see, it slices into nice wedges. So often gluten-free flours don’t hold together or end up tasting like cardboard. This is delightful with a little butter and served with tea – or a lovely dark Guinness for those who can.