Irish Soda Bread Story #SOL 28/31 2021

There’s only a few more days to publicly celebrate my Irish heritage, so I thought I’d bake some Irish soda bread. Now, I’ve not ever baked Irish soda bread before. It’s been on my Pandemic Baking list.

I found a recipe from Alexandra’s Kitchen of alexandracooks.com, after scouring the internet for an authentic traditional soda bread recipe. It had to be authentic – if I was to be true to my ancestors.

The authentic traditional recipes include only four ingredients: flour, salt, baking soda and buttermilk.

Geez, seriously? This was going to be easy peasy.

When I landed on Alexandra’s page, she mentioned adding an egg, and a little sugar and butter. Now, this seemed to Americanize the Irish ways, but I’m trying to be open minded, ya know, instead of stuck in my ways – then, I realized, I don’t even have a way yet . . .

I appreciated Alexandra’s commentary about these added ingredients, which usually, I find “the story” of the recipe QUITE annoying with recipes online. Just cut to the chase and give me the recipe! my typical whine. But, in this case, I needed to know why one would mess with the Irish?

The author of this recipe made a bold statement in saying that the original version was edible, but she missed the scone-like texture, the richness that comes from the addition of butter.

Now, I wasn’t going to succumb to the false riches of the Americans – I wanted the real deal. Yet, as I was mixing the dry ingredients, I found my wicked mind had latched onto this author’s statement and was now taunting me.

What if for all this work – your Irish soda bread is only “edible”?

In the last minute, I added the sugar, butter and egg to the milk. It’s wasn’t THAT much, I rationalized.

Did I also tell you that I didn’t have buttermilk in the house?

Well, I knew you could substitute this with milk and lemon juice, so I searched online for specifications. Some recipes warned, Only use buttermilk! Other recipes said, You can substitute, but use whole or 2% milk with the lemon juice. I only had skim and Almond. Well, this was going to be an all – out gamble. Finally, I found a vegan site that said you could do it with Almond milk – no probs! So, I did.

So now, its a Vegan American Irish Soda Bread.

The dough seemed awfully sticky. One site said you gotta use your CLEAN hands – like claws. That’s how they did it in Ireland. So, I did that. I had to keep dipping them back in the flour though to make the dough behave.

I greased the heavy cast iron pan, after washing out the bacon grease. It might now have a little bacon flavor, too.

Next, I scooped the dough into the pan and worked with it to try and shape it into a nice ball. It wasn’t easy – still sticky. The knife I used to make a cross cut across the top didn’t do such a nice clean cut either – sticking to the dough besides. Hopefully, those fairies got out of there to ward off evil.

Finally, I shoved it in the oven, hoping to just end this ordeal.

I read some more Irish history while it baked, learned some useful Irish slang and had a message round about with my mother and sisters trying out my new slang. We laughed a lot.

40 minutes later, I pulled the bread out of the oven and cut into it. The middle was still doughy, so I put it back in the oven. I guess I should have flattened it a little more.

Finally, when completely baked all the way through, I had a taste slathered with some butter.

It didn’t really taste like bread.

It tasted more like scones – sweet and rich.

That’s not really what I wanted.

But, it was edible.

My husband wanted to try some so I gave some to him. He didn’t seem impressed either.

I guess my Irish taste buds know more than I do. I’ll try the real recipe next time.

I wrote it down to remember it.

I am participating in the 14th Annual SOL 2021 March challenge. For 31 days, I will attempt to write and share a small slice of life from my days. I’ve missed a couple of days, but I’m still at it! If you’d like to read more of today’s slices from other teacher-writers, please head over to twowritingteachers, who have also committed to this challenge.

5 thoughts on “Irish Soda Bread Story #SOL 28/31 2021

  1. I’ve put together a Cliff Notes version of this post for you. “Easy peasy. End the ordeal. I’ll remember.”

    Recipes are funny, and the traditional ways make things even more interesting! Thank you for sharing the experience. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So funny reading all your thoughts!! I too Hate the storybooks written before they show the recipe. Next time hon, ask your crazy aunts for the recipe… we’ve got Mom’s. Well it’s somewhere in my God forsaken cookbook where I save a million recipes. But have to admit, I’m not fond of it. It’s dry and rather tasteless. UnlessI made it on one of my senior moment days and forgot and ingredient. But I remember Mom’s bread too with raisins…yuk, give me chocolate honey!

    Like

  3. I hope the bread gets eaten somehow along the way. It was a very entertaining story. I’ve made Irish soda bread from a recipe someone gave me. Pretty sure it doesn’t have buttermilk and it definitely tasted okay. Hope you work it out next time!

    Like

  4. That was a good laugh! And the stories before the recipes? WHO READS THEM? All of us just scroll down to the ‘recipe card’ or the ingredients and list!

    Like

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