Thursday, March 19, 2009

St. Patty's Day: Chocolate Chip Irish Soda Bread

Soooo, the Irish would totally strike me down for this next one because (1) the original recipe calls for raisins and caraway seeds and (2) chocolate chips? Seriously? But this isn't a raisin blog and I don't know anyone who would drool over that. Also, I hear that a soda bread with stuff in it is actually Spotted Dog. Who knew?

I love Irish soda bread, and traditionally, it's just four ingredients: flour, buttermilk, baking soda, and salt. This recipe also has sugar and butter and a few other nontraditional elements. It was good, but really didn't taste like soda bread to me. Chocolate chip bread, yes. (Not that that's an entirely bad thing either.) Also contributing to this: swapping 1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour for 1 regular because oh. my. gosh. it needs to vacate my cabinet! So if you follow the recipe, yours might taste more like Irish soda bread. Or, try one of these recipes next time. And add chocolate chips. ;)

Chocolate Chip Irish Soda Bread
4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. sugar
1 t. salt
2 t. baking powder
4 T. unsalted butter, cold
2 c. chocolate chips
1 1/2 scant cups buttermilk*
1 egg
1 t. baking soda

*No buttermilk on hand? For each cup of buttermilk, mix one tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar with enough milk to make one cup. Let it stand for 5 minutes.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat (hmmm, did the Irish use Silpats?); set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder until well combined.

Using a pastry cutter or two knives in scissor fashion, cut in butter until the mixture feels like coarse meal. Stir in chocolate chips until evenly distributed.

In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, and baking soda until well combined. Pour buttermilk mixture into the flour-and-butter mixture all at once, and stir with a fork until all the liquid is absorbed and the mixture begins to hold together. It should resemble a rough biscuit dough. Using your hands, press the dough into a round, dome-shaped loaf about 8 inches in diameter. Lift the loaf from the bowl, and transfer it to the prepared baking sheet.

(If desired, brush with an egg wash to make it shiny on top.) With a sharp knife, cut a cross, about 1/2 inch deep into the top of the loaf. Transfer to the oven. Bake, rotating halfway through, until it is deep golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center, about 70 minutes (mine cooked in about 60). Remove from oven, and transfer bread from the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool.

Happy St. Patty's Day!


iEatDC said...

I've never tasted Irish soda bread. I think I should come by your house on every holiday.

Lazy Mama said...

I made this recipe last night and it is delicious. I think the chocolate chips take Irish Soda bread to the next level! This recipe is fantastic.

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