Wednesday, March 16, 2011
"Spotted Dog" Irish Soda Bread
All these years I've thought I was making traditional Irish soda bread - only to discover earlier this week that it was actually "Spotted Dog" soda bread I was making. Apparently if you add raisins, fruits, seeds, etc. to the bread, it's no longer considered traditional soda bread.
So, I set out to make a gluten-free version of traditional Irish soda bread yesterday, only to bake up a tasty - yet crumbly and slightly doughy - soda bread. I stuck to the basics without even adding egg, only changing the flours but it flopped. Of course, I have to admit that even if I re-created a traditional version to be gluten-free, it still wouldn't be truly traditional, would it? I seriously doubt our Irish ancestors (my grandmother is half Irish) used gluten-free flours to make their bread. I'm sure it was wheat. So maybe I won't try so hard to re-create traditional Irish soda bread if it can't truly be done gluten-free anyway.
After the flop yesterday, I decided I'd just try to adapt the recipe I've used all these years. I tried last year and it was a flop, but now that I'm figuring out how to bake according to weight with the flours, I thought I'd try again with a greater variety of flours. It turned out really well. It had very much the same taste as I remember the gluten version having, but the texture was even better although maybe just a tad more crumbly. We deemed it a keeper, though. (And it's much less crumbly when completely cool!)
It's adapted from the Irish Soda Bread recipe in Cooking Down East by Marjorie Standish, a cookbook that you've seen mentioned here before. I always opt to omit the caraway seeds, though. You'll need a scale for this recipe.
Projected prep time: 15 minutes; Projected bake time: 50 minutes
56 grams potato starch
56 grams tapioca starch
154 grams brown rice flour
29 grams sweet rice flour
77 grams white rice flour
29 grams amaranth flour
48 grams teff flour
1/4 cup organic sugar
1 tsp. sea salt or kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup butter (I use salted for this recipe)
1 1/2 cups raisins
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
Sift the dry ingredients together then cut the butter into it with pastry blender until crumbly. Stir in raisins.
Mix buttermilk together with egg and stir into flour mixture, mixing together by hand until all is moistened.
Place dough in well-greased Dutch oven or casserole dish.
Smooth out the top a little with the back of a wet spoon, and cut a large cross in the top about 1/2-inch deep.
If you are using a Dutch oven, cover with the lid. If you are using a casserole dish or cake pan, cover with a cake pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.
Remove lid and slice through cross again if needed, then bake for another 10 minutes.
Enjoy, and have a Happy Saint Patrick's Day!