Irish Soda Bread, Happy St. Patricks Day
There is a wee bit of Irish in my lineage, my Dad was Italian and my Mom French/Scottish Irish. Every year for St. Patricks Day my Mom made something green, now I love the color green, but with the exception of vegetables I don’t necessarily like to eat food that is colored green unless it is a result of the natural color of the ingredient used in the recipe. It always made me chuckle when we would all sit at the breakfast table to green biscuits or eggs. This recipe is not green but soda bread is Irish by origin. The recipe comes from my friend Cynthia, The Solitary Cook and Boulangere on Food52. I have always been challenged when it comes to biscuits but have overcome that with a great biscuit recipe, I have made soda bread a few times and it is not usually light and fluffy it’s heavy and hard. I noticd this one when it was featured last week and when I saw that it was one of Cynthia’s recipes I knew it had to be good, she is an extraordinary cook, baker and person. The bread has potatoes, beer and yogurt for moistness, which sounded really good to me, as my soda bread tends to be on the dry side. She used celery and scallions in her version but I chose to skip the vegetables and make it plain. I also thought it would be fun to make mini loaves that bake faster and are smaller in size. Cynthia calls her recipe Nouveau Irish Soda Bread it is not your traditional soda bread, I have never seen a recipe that uses potatoes but it works and works really well yielding a flavorful and super moist loaf. It is however exactly what I wanted, light, moist and delicious. The title is linked to the original recipe on Food 52 and I am posting the recipe as I made it.
This is the best soda bread I’ve had, really good even the next day. I didn’t have fingerling potatoes so I used what I had which was red new potatoes skin on. The potatoes were mashed with good Irish butter (Kerrygold). When at the store I saw some Irish smoked salmon and thought it would be nice with the soda bread and some homemade creme fraiche. Delicious!! I’m currently hosting a lovely couple from England in my air bnb space and they brought some wonderful Whittard tea as a gift. The afternoon tea is fantastic very similar to an Earl Grey tea with a beautiful perfume and flavor. Highly recommend if you can get your hands on some. I thought my good friends at Fiesta Friday #163 might enjoy, so I’m bringing you a wee bit of Irish Soda Bread!!
Nouveau Irish Soda Bread
Recipe by Cynthia, boulangere on Food52
Makes 1 round loaf or 3 smaller individual loaves
4 fingerling or small potatoes cleaned and sliced (enough to yield 1/2 cup mashed potatoes) (I used small red potatoes with the skin on).
2 tbs butter (Kerrygold)
1 tsp fine grained sea salt or kosher salt
Cut potatoes into 1-inch pieces and place in a saucepan with cold water to cover and a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, and cook until quite tender, about 15 minutes. Drain using the pan lid to hold back the potatoes, and add butter to the pan. Mash in the pan with a hand masher. Set aside.
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp fine grained sea salt or kosher salt
4 oz greek whole milk yogurt, used Fage plain whole milk yogurt
4 oz Irish lager type beer (Didn’t have Irish Lager so I used a local Brooklyn Lager)
1 tbs honey
While potatoes are cooking heat oven to 400 degree’s.
Sift the all purpose flour, cake flour, baking soda and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the potatoes, yogurt, beer and honey to the dry ingredients, stir with a spatula or wooden spoon just to blend. Scatter generously some flour on work surface and dump the dough onto the work surface. Form into a ball being careful not to overwork the dough. When it’s a nice round shape transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Using a sharp serated knife cut an X on top of the loaf or loaves.
For one larger loaf bake 40-45 minutes until a deep brown and when tapped it should feel bouncy not soft or wet. For individual loaves bake 25-30 minutes approximately.
Let cool at least 15 minutes before slicing.
Soda bread with smoked salmon, creme fraiche and dill.