So, when we left our heroine in the kitchen, she was borderline suicidal about the disgusting traditional Irish Soda Bread she baked.
Don’t worry, I wasn’t planning to refer to myself in the third person for the entire post.
So, after the traditional Irish Soda Bread (aka. bird food) was properly disposed of, I set to work to create this non-traditional cakey version that I prayed would be delicious. It had raisins in it…I love raisins so I was pretty excited. If raisins aren’t your thing, I bet you could substitute any dried fruit like apricot or even cranberries if you’re making this bread for someone you secretly loathe (note: I HATE cranberries). I mean no offense to the cranberry industry by the way.
I won’t take the trouble of retyping the recipe I used here because you can find it here.
Now, when I went to the grocery store I simply put “raisins” on the grocery list. I failed to put the actual amount I needed because I never imagined the recipe would call for more than one entire box of raisins but sure enough, raisins come in 2 1/2 cup boxes in my grocery store and the recipe called for 3 cups. This was a crisis obviously orchestrated by the same people who sell you 8 hotdog buns even though the hot dogs come in packages of 10. Luckily I bought both golden raisins and your traditional run-of-the-mill purple raisins so I mixed the two in order to get 3 cups worth.
Let me tell you, 3 cups is a LOT of raisins.
I have to admit that I’ve never used caraway seeds before and I was a little nervous because the recipe calls for an entire tablespoon of them. I had also noticed that the recipe reviews I had read gave mixed feedback on the addition of caraway seeds. But I decided to just go with it because I figured it still couldn’t be as bad as the last loaf of bread I’d made.
Now I subscribe to the Paula Deen school of thought on southern cooking. As southern cooks, Ms. Deen and I believe in all things butter, sour cream, mayonnaise, lard, and of course bacon. While these ingredients can’t all go into one bread recipe, I was super excited to see buttermilk AND sour cream in the recipe. And after that last fiasco, I was just excited to see this much liquid:
And let me tell you, this dough was wet. Hand kneading – yeah….
The dough was so wet that I really couldn’t even do much to cut the traditional “X” in the top of it. I actually did try to research why Irish Soda Bread even has an “X” in the top of it and I learned that the answer is to let the fairies out. Apparently before the advent of logic and science bakers believed that there were fairies in their bread and when they escaped you ended up with those crevices in your bread that happen during the baking process.
And what turned out?
And taste? Very good – I was impressed.
Yes, we’ll be adding this to the personal cook book. However, I think in the future I might try substituting anise for the caraway seeds.