3.20.2012

Mini Irish Soda Breads [TWD]


This week's TWD recipe was Irish Soda Bread, in honor of St. Patrick's Day. This is another food I'd never tried and may never have tried if not for this group. I've seen recipes and probably hundreds of blog posts for this bread (usually around this time of year) but I always thought it couldn't possibly be that good with so few ingredients and none of the special treatment that normal bread receives. This bread reminded me that the simplest things in life are often the best.

Irish Soda Bread

The recipe calls for a whopping 4 ingredients: all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk. That's it. You see why my expectations were so low? I added a little sugar to sweeten it up a bit. Of course I can never leave well enough alone, so I decided instead of making 1 large loaf I'd make 5 smaller loaves, and to complicate things even further, each would have a different type of raisin add-in.

Irish Soda Bread

I made one loaf with raisins soaked in amaretto, one with raisins soaked in spiced rum, another with raisins soaked in brandy and another with raisins soaked in orange juice. I made the last one with cherry-infused dried cranberries soaked in orange juice as well. (Mixing them in separately was not the best idea I've ever had... this was the stickiest dough I've ever worked with. Ever. I would advise anyone planning on making this bread to just stick with one type of add-in, your life will be so much easier.)

Irish Soda Bread

The bread had a surprisingly tender crumb for having no rising time whatsoever. One thing I will say that I didn't love about this bread was the smell; usually when I bake bread the whole house smells like heaven. The buttermilk (or something) in this bread made the whole house smell like feet...not heaven.

Overall though, the bread was delicious (my favorite raisin variations were the orange juice and amaretto ones. The O.J. raisins were really sweet; not particularly citrus-y, just sweeter. The amaretto-soaked raisins were sweet as well, but with just a hint of nuttiness). I'll definitely be making this again - it's so fast and easy there's really no reason not to.


The recipe for this bread can be found on this week's hosts' blogs, here and here, as well as in the Baking With Julia cookbook.


42 comments:

  1. hats off to you for trying out all those variations with the soaked raisins!! The smaller loaves are looking cute!!

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    1. thank you, I'm still debating whether or not it was worth it, lol.

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  2. The mini breads look great! Beautiful pictures :)

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  3. I think you've identified why I wasn't impressed with this recipe. It's the stinky feet smell! Thanks for being braver than the rest of us with all these variations.

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    1. Haha, I knew I couldn't have been the only one that thought this bread stunk!

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  4. I love that you made minis! So cute! And I love that you (did what I usually do and) went crazy with the variations. I think the smell might have been the baking soda, though, because I used regular milk instead of buttermilk and my bread definitely smelled as well.

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    1. oooohh, that makes sense. I totally thought of you when I was making all the different variations! lol

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  5. I love the little loaves. They are so pretty.

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  6. I am on my third cup of coffee today and thought this would be the ideal time to come visit and check out your establishment here. (Whats that smell? Feet?) Anyway, these look fantastic! Soda bread is one of those things I never make myself but its always a nice surprise and I think your add in experiments sound great! Joy would be proud! How fun that we were at the same signing. I adore her and am so excited for her success.
    Trevor Sis. Boom.

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    1. That smell would be my food, lol. Third cup? I can tell we're going to get along just fine! Thanks for visiting :)

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  7. I like all your variations! They sound tasty. The next time I make this I'm adding dried fruit.

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    1. You definitely should! Just don't forget to plump them first ;)

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  8. Absolutely beautiful! And I love all the add-ins!

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  9. They're all so adorable! Gorgeous photos, too. :)

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  10. I didn't notice the feet smell. What a lot of work to do 5 different mini loaves!

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    1. Really? Consider yourself lucky, lol. You have no idea, if I'd have known how much of a hassle it was going to be I would've just made one!

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  11. Great photos and really cute idea to make the minis. Looks like they turned out great.

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  12. Your little loaves are so cute! Going through all these blogs is making me want to give it another go. I decided to be really revolutionary and use fresh fruit (blueberries) in mine, but things took a turn toward the VERY tart and didn't work out so well. I have some amaretto though so maybe I will throw some raisins in there and give this another try this afternoon.

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    1. You definitely should! The raisins work so well with this recipe, and a little booze certainly never hurts ;)

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  13. Your mini-loaves look absolutely perfect!

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  14. So cute, love the mini loaves, nice to try all the different additions. I love your photos.

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    1. thank you, thank you, and thank you!

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  15. All of your raisin variations sound wonderful! I made this plain, but I know I'd like it with raisins.

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    1. You could always add them in next time :)

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  16. Mini loaves look great! I can imagine it was difficult considering the sticky dough.. I simmered raisins in boiling water, drained and dried before using them..

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    1. I should've simmered mine, instead I just soaked them in the different liquids for a couple hours.

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  17. Love that you made a few varieties! Great pictures - is the wood a picnic table? Something you have in the home? Looks terrific!

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    1. Thanks, I wish it were a picnic table! It's actually an old wooden crate turned upside down, lol

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  18. Hmmmm. Feet smell. That is rarely a good thing :-)
    You went all out with the add-ins, for sure. You get a gold star on that one!

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  19. I love all your cute little loaves, they all look so tasty!

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  20. Little loaves is a great idea and you really took the time to add a ton of different things. They look great!

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