This week’s Baking with Julia recipe fit in with the holiday last weekend quite well! There’s definitely some Irish heritage in this house, and the fact that there’s a bread to make to go along with the corned beef, cabbage, and beer – well that’s all the better. This year I did skip out on Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Guiness Cake – the rugelach were hanging around for quite some time followed by a chocolate birthday cake that somehow lingered in the fridge, calling me for a little sliver throughout the day…
Back to the soda bread, this was the first time I’d made a soda bread that only had four ingredients, and then I opted to add in about 3/4 cup of currants. I was a little worried about it being bland, there isn’t a hint of sugar! But I must say buttermilk is the magic ingredient in this (other than the baking soda) because it gave the bread a texture that I wouldn’t have imagined in a soda bread that’s got anywhere from 12 ingredients to just four.
The ingredients came together and the the whole thing was ready in less than five minutes. And I think the whole process was a bit counterintuitive, I felt like I should be doing more work and nearly kept kneading too long. I slashed my cross a bit too deep, I think I was overly excited that I could pop it in the oven so quickly!
But, it all worked out once in the oven the cross really opened up to reveal beautiful texture of the interior. I felt like the whole thing looked a bit like a valley surrounded by four floury mountains. As for flavor, it definitely needed a topping be it butter, jam, or leftover cinnamon sugar/ nut topping from a previous recipe. I think if I made it again I would go for the savory side of things and maybe add some cheddar, some sort of onion. I guess the possibilities are endless!
If you’re interested in the recipe check out the fantastic hosts for this week: Cathy of My Culinary Mission or Carla of Chocolate Moosey. Better yet, buy the book Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.