We are continuing today with the Irish-food theme. Again, this is another recipe that is too good to wait a whole year to make again! Are you intimidated by making bread? If you are, this is the perfect recipe for you! Are you always looking for something warm and hearty to dip into your winter (spring) soups and stews? If so, this is the perfect recipe for you! Are you looking for something to whip up last minute while the kids are doing homework and you are tight on time? Again, I have the perfect recipe for you!!
I saw many recipes last year for Irish soda bread and had wanted to try one but just never got around to it. This year, as expected, all sorts of Irish soda bread recipes started popping up all over the place. This one, in particular, grabbed my attention because 1) it needed only 4 ingredients and 2) it takes about a half-hour from start to finish. These are ingredients that I usually have on hand too, so it earned some bonus points there too!
The bread itself is quite dense and doesn't rise much. It's perfect warm from the oven or at room temperature too. Just slather some butter on it and enjoy with a nice stew or even some chili. If you plan to eat the bread warm, pretty much straight out of the oven, bake it on the longer side (30-ish minutes). If you plan to let it cool completely and eat it an hour or two later, you should be fine with the shorter time (25-ish minutes) since the bread continues baking a bit while it cools.
Irish Soda Bread
3 2/3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups buttermilk **
**If you don't have buttermilk on hand you can make your own, easy substitute. Simply add 1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice to a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Add milk to the measuring cup, filling to the 1 1/2 cup mark. Let sit 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, stir and use in your recipe.
Preheat oven to 425° F. Line a baking sheet with a silicon baking mat or parchment paper. Set aside.
Add flour, salt and baking soda to a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and slowing add the buttermilk. Stir with a fork to combine. The dough will be very sticky. If needed, add as much as 1/4 cup extra buttermilk.
Knead the dough lightly with your hands while it is still in the bowl to help it come together. Dump the dough onto the prepared baking sheet and form it into an 8-inch circle. Use a sharp knife to cut a cross in the top of the dough.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.
Even though it feels like Spring outside lately, I've been on a major soup kick the past few weeks. I think what I love most about soup is that you can work once to make the recipe and enjoy it for weeks to come! This recipe made a few extra servings than the 4 (or 3 1/2!) we usually need so I froze the leftover in individual containers for a quick, yummy lunch during the week. I'm not a huge fan of green onions and chives, so I didn't use them but you can definitely add them to pump up the flavor!
Baked Potato Soup
Makes approximately 6 servings
4-5 russet potatoes
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, divided
6 cups 2% milk
2 tsp kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/3-1/2 cup sour cream
For the topping:
Shredded cheddar cheese
Crumbled bacon pieces
Preheat oven to 400. Prick the potatoes with a fork. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let sit until cool enough to handle. Scoop the insides of the potatoes into a food processor, discarding the peels. Pulse until the pieces are broken into small chunks.
In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, melt the butter. Add 1/4 cup of flour to the pot and whisk into the butter. Cook, whisking constantly, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and the rest of the flour. Cook until thick and bubbling, about 6-8 minutes. Mix in the potato chunks. Add the salt, pepper and cheddar cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream.
Serve immediately. Garnish with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and bacon pieces.
Pittsburgh area mom striving to provide clean, healthy, REAL food for her family!