Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Irish Soda Bread

March 20, 2012 at 12:01 am | Posted in groups, quick breads, savory things, tuesdays with dorie | 35 Comments
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Irish soda bread

We may represent six different continents, but this week we’re all Irish in TWD with Marion Cunningham’s Irish Soda Bread.  I like Marion Cunningham.  I think she seems like a cool lady, and I have a few of her books (the most well-used is The Breakfast Book).  But I digress…

I knew that I wanted to have this bread with butter and marmalade on St. Patrick’s Day morning, but I didn’t know how I was going to pull it off for breakfast when it takes almost an hour to bake and then more time to cool.  I was worried about making it in advance, because in the book, the recipe intro says it turns “as hard as the Blarney Stone” (which I have kissed, btw) after a few hours.  Then I watched the video of Marion and Julia making the bread together…Marion whips out an already-made loaf and clearly says that it had been baked the night before, left to cool completely and then wrapped.  So that’s what I did…I made it the night before and it was still perfect the next morning.

This recipe has just four ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk), and the dough is simply stirred together…it’s almost amazing that it turns into bread!  I had actually wanted to sneak some currants in my loaf, too, but then I completely forgot about them until the second after I’d scraped the sticky dough into the pie plate.  I wasn’t going to mess with it anymore at the point.  No matter– the bread had plenty of flavor…a little salty and a little tangy.  Like most Irish people I know, my loaf also had plenty of character….I probably could have kneaded a bit more flour into it to make it a smoother round, but I liked its quirkiness just fine.

Irish soda bread

Don’t wait until next March to make this….it’s so easy and good that it’s perfect anytime.  For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also here in somewhat condensed form) or read Carla’s blog Chocolate Moosey, and Cathleen’s blog My Culinary Mission, as they are co-hosting this recipe.  Thanks, ladies!  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll.

French Fridays with Dorie: Savory Cheese and Scallion Bread

March 4, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Posted in french fridays with dorie, groups, quick breads, savory things | 19 Comments
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savory cheese and scallion bread

Cheese bread!  cheesy bread!  I went nuts when I saw this recipe was coming up for FFWD.  Who the heck wouldn’t want to eat cheesy, onioney (is that a word?) homemade bread?  I wanted to eat it so much that I made a whole big loaf, instead of a mini or half-loaf.  We had some the day it was baked with homemade tomato soup– so good!– and some went into the freezer, because it will be awesome alongside scrambled eggs for a weekend breakfast.

If you shy away from making bread at home, or fear yeast, or whatever, don’t worry here.  This is a quick bread, much like a muffin.  In fact, you can even turn the loaf into cheese muffins, if you are so inclined.  The original recipe uses chives, but I didn’t have any and used scallions instead.  A combo of cheddar and Gruyère was just right, and made this a great, easy, cheesy bread that I’ll bake again and again.

For the recipe, see Around my French Table by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also on The Washington Post’s site).  Don’t forget to check out my fellow francophiles’ posts!

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