Irish Soda Bread

by Daisy

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Sometimes I want homemade bread, fast. Real bread you can slice, make into toast, spread butter and jam on, make a sandwich out of. So I make Irish Soda Bread. Very satisfying, a good slicer, and, as I mentioned, fast. It is also a good-looking bread, wholesome and rustic.

I got the recipe from an old favorite cookbook I have worn out over the years: Sally Schneider’s The Art of Low-Calorie Cooking . I don’t think of it as a “low-calorie” cookbook–it is just a very good cookbook and the photography is beautiful.

I made some the other day and I took a few pics of my own to show you.

Irish Brown Bread
from The Art of Low-Calorie Cooking by Sally Schneider

1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 1/3 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup rolled oats

1/3 cup oat bran

2 teaspoons dark brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

About 1 3/4 cups buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush 1/4 teaspoon of the oil into each of two 8-by-4-inch loaf pans, coating the bottom and sides of the pans evenly. (Note: I, Tomato Lady, bake them freeform on a baking sheet as described in the variation that follows.) In a bowl, stir together 2 1/4 cups of the buttermilk. Add more buttermilk, little by little, just until the dough is soft but not too wet. (The amount of buttermilk needed will vary with the moisture content of the flour but should not exceed 1 3/4 cups.) Knead the dough in the bowl until all the flour is incorporated ad the dough is smooth, about 2 minutes. If the dough is too wet, knead in a little of the remaining 4 teaspoons whole wheat flour, 1 teaspoon at a time. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions and shape each into a log about the size of the loaf pans. Place a log of dough in each pan, patting down gently to fill the pans. With a thin sharp knife, cut 3 or 4 lengthwise slashes, 1/2 inch deep, in the top of the dough. (This allows the dough to expand evenly as it cooks.)
Bake the loaves for 30 to 35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean and the bottoms of the loaves sound hollow when tapped. Remove the bread from the pans and place on a rack to cool. To serve, slice 1 loaf into 18 thin slices. Serve 2 slices per person. Variation: If desired, you can shape this bread into 2 freestanding traditional round loaves. Brush a baking sheet with 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil, divide the dough, and shape into 2 rounds. Place on the baking sheet and, using a thin sharp knife, make 2 crisscrossing slashes on top of the loaf. Each loaf weighs approximately 18 ounces.

Makes 2 8-inch loaves
100 calories
4.1 g Protein

.9 gm Fat

20.1 gm Carbohydrate per 2-Ounce Serving

I slice it however thick I want it. I understand, though, that the author of the recipe has carefully calculated the nutritional information based on precise measurements.

This bread is great with my homemade apple butter. I will post on that soon.

Tommie

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