Monday, March 19, 2012

Baking with Julia: Irish Soda Bread

I don't really have much to say about this recipe, except: It was freakin' delicious. After the rugelach adventures a few weeks ago, I am *all about* something that is tasty and easy!


I didn't really deviate from the recipe (which you can find at My Culinary Mission and Chocolate Moosey) except to add 1 cup of chopped dried apricots, and I have to say, that addition made all the difference. I've made soda bread before and wasn't overly fond of it, so I wasn't particularly interested in making it plain. I'm not sure why I chose the apricots over raisins, but I'm very glad I did. The slight tang of the apricots along with the buttermilk in this recipe gave it a surprising complexity of flavor that I really enjoyed. It was an exceptionally sticky dough, but I was thankful for the instructions specifically warning against over-kneading... I could have gotten carried away with this dough, but instead treated it gently (as evidenced by the rough shape) and was pleased that I didn't pull an apricot-studded brick out of the oven when the timer went.

We tore into it pretty much straight out of the oven, with a healthy slathering of butter...


Golden deliciousness
and put the rest in a ziplock bag in the fridge and it has kept well enough. Not as good as fresh, of course, but with a quick zap in the microwave and a bit of butter, it's still fantastic. I also undercooked it a little bit, as the crust was very golden, but the inside was still a bit doughy, but that moisture has actually helped keep it from hardening too much, I think. The apricots also absorbed a bit more moisture and are helping to keep it moist, as well.  

I'm planning on trying this again this week, perhaps with some raisins, so I can have some in the mornings for breakfast. A savory version sounds good, too... some garlic chives and a bit of cheddar, perhaps! Dammit, now I'm hungry again...

18 comments:

  1. It looks cakey! I'll have to use apricots in the future...

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  2. Looks lovely! Will think about adding apricots the next time - I just went the boring raisin route myself :)

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  3. That looks delicious -- and SO MUCH easier than the Rugelach!!

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  4. Perfectly delicious looking! I made one plain as written and one sweetened with raisins! Both wonderful! Nicely done!

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  5. I loved this bread...yours looks great! I had plum butter on mine..yum!

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  6. Hmm ... not sure I've ever tried apricots in bread. Intriguing! :)

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  7. Apricot----yummy idea! Looks great!

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  8. MUCH easier than Rugelach - looks great

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  9. Very pretty! I think I'll add some dried fruit the next time I make this recipe. Our family's recipe is a brown Irish soda bread, which is fantastic plain, but I agree that the white version does need something.

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  10. Oh yeah, I love to use apricots in bread- yours looks scrumptious; very fine production!

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  11. The world has a new scent : Irish soda bread!
    Such a lovely bread, so many possibilities and so easy to make!
    I love it!
    Your bread looks great! Next time I'll bake it (made 2 today) I'll make sure I add some dried apricots. Thank you!

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  12. Oh - garlic, chives and cheddar would be nice... Mmmmm

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  13. Wow, apricots! Excellent idea..I'm definitely going to try that. Your loaf is beautiful...lovely texture.

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  14. Looks great! Definitely adding fruit next time! Catherine at www.praycookblog.com

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  15. Looks delicious! Sadly I don't think I'm a fan of this bread.

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  16. Adding apricots sounds great! I like how flexible this recipe is.

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  17. It looks delicious! I bet the apricots were so good, I am going to have to try that next time! And I was also excited to see how easy it was (and so good).

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