10.3.13

Honey Oat Irish Soda Bread


My heritage is equal parts Irish and Italian.

I have always identified more with the Italian side, (I have olive skin,  studied abroad in Italy, and cook and eat pasta like it's my job) while my sister always identified more with the Irish side (She has fair skin, studied abroad in Ireland, and is in love with a red-headed man)

Though Irish food is not necessarily my favorite, their tradition does have one staple I am a fan of: Irish soda bread.


Named for the baking soda used as the leavening agent, this delicious bread can be whipped up in under two hours. (The same cannot be said for yeast breads, though I do love them too.)

For this particular version, I used a combination of oat and all-purpose flour. The oat flour is easy to make with the help of a food processor.  The only other ingredient you might have to make a special trip for is the buttermilk. I found having some extra buttermilk laying around to be a great excuse to make buttermilk pancakes, but if you aren't so inclined, you can make your own buttermilk easily.

The oats give this bread a satisfying chewy texture.  This is the kind of bread you smear with jam and eat with a side of fruit for breakfast.  Or slather with peanut butter and eat for lunch.  Or top with butter and cheese and eat with a hearty stew for dinner. It's perfect at all times of the day.

On a side note, for those of you lucky enough to indulge in some chocolate on St. Patty’s day, I would recommend this chocolate stout cake made with Guiness. I made it a couple years ago and it was fantastic. These Bailey's mint chocolate whoopie pies look good too. 

Given my lenten sacrifice of sweets, I haven't been able to enjoy all the St. Patrick's day goodies abounding, but a slice of this bread with apple butter is almost just as good. 




Honey Oat Irish Soda Bread

Ingredients:
2 cups rolled oats, plus a handful for sprinkling
2 ¼ cup all purpose flour
1 ¾ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 ¾ cup buttermilk, plus 1 tablespoon
3 tablespoons melted butter, divided
3 tablespoons honey


Directions:
Preheat oven to 400.

Butter a 5 by 9 in loaf pan and line with parchment paper.

To make oat flour, pour 2 cups oats into food processor. Pulse 3-4 times until a fine powder forms.

Whisk together oat flour, all purpose flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.

In a medium bowl, mix buttermilk, 2 tablespoons melted butter and honey.

Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour in the buttermilk mixture. Stir until wet dough forms.  Roll out onto a lightly floured surface and kneed 6-7 times.

Place dough in loaf pan. Sprinkle a handful of oats over the top. Mix together 1 tablespoon melted butter and one tablespoon buttermilk and brush over bread.

Bake for 30 minutes in the center rack of the oven. Remove bread and raise rack to the upper part of the oven.  Bake for 20-25 more minuets until bread is golden brown.

Recipe adapted from 101 Cookbooks.



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