Soda Bread

March 19, 2010

Flax Irish Soda Bread ready for the oven

Rustic loaf of Flax Irish Soda Bread, still warm

Chicken soup and warm bread, perfect companions

I had never made Irish Soda Bread, so I planned to make my first loaf in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.  My plans were waylaid by a bad cold.  Today, for the first time in six days, I feel like I have turned the corner and am beginning to recover.  I thought that warm bread would go perfectly with some leftover chicken soup, so I baked a loaf for lunch.

I discovered the Flax Irish Soda Bread recipe on a blog for the Whiteley Creek B & B.  My sisters and I stayed at this rustic B & B in northern Minnesota and we were all impressed with Adrienne, the owner and host.  She is currently going back to school to study nutrition, and the recipes she features on her blog always seem to burst with healthy stuff.  You can check out her blog at http://www.whiteleycreek.com.  The Flax Irish Soda Bread recipe was posted on March 11th, but for your convenience, I’ve copied it here:

Flax Soda Bread

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

¾ cup whole wheat or rye flour

½ cup ground flaxseeds

¾ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

3 tbsp butter

2 eggs, slightly beaten

¾ cup buttermilk

2 tbsp honey

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, stir together the eggs, buttermilk, and honey. Add to dry ingredients. Stir just until moistened. (Dough will be sticky.) Turn out dough onto a well-floured surface. Knead 10 to 12 strokes or until dough is nearly smooth. (I tossed just enough flour on top of the dough as I worked it so it wouldn’t stick to my fingers.) On a greased baking sheet using well-floured hands, shape dough into a 6-inch round. (It will poof as it bakes.) With a sharp knife, cut a 4” cross, ¼” deep, on top of the loaf (to let the bread stretch and expand as it rises in the oven). Bake in a preheated 375° oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Makes 12 to 16 servings.

Here are a couple of photos I took at the Whiteley Creek B & B.  I hope they capture some of the rustic charm of the place.

The dining room was an old railroad car.

The screened porch, a comfortable gathering spot