Friday, June 11, 2010

A New Twist on Irish Soda Bread

I had the nerve to adapt a recipe from Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks fame.  I mean, who adapts her recipes?  They're so good they're practically un-adaptable.  But I did, and I have to say, I'm glad I did.

The recipe is for Six-seed Soda Bread, only I swiped out the fennel seeds, replaced them with the more traditional caraway that you find in many Irish Soda Bread recipes, added a tablespoon of raw cane sugar, and tossed in a couple handfuls of raisins (currants not being available where I live).  Furthermore, I played with the flours by using spelt, rye, and whole-wheat (finally available in my local market.  Thank you, mighty flour Gods.)

And voila. It was absolutely fantastic.  What's more, I just love the fact that it appears both rustic and fancy.

Six-Seed Soda Bread
adapted (with aplomb) from 101 Cookbooks

2.5T each sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and flax seeds
1T caraway seeds
1 3/4c spelt flour
1c rye flour
1c whole-wheat flour
2t baking soda
1t sea salt
1 3/4c buttermilk

Set oven to 400F/205C

1.  Combine seeds and set aside
2.  Sift flours, soda, and salt in a large bowl.
3.  Stir in all but 2T of the seeds (the remaining 2T will be used for the top).
4.  Make a well in the center and add buttermilk.  Stir until combined.
5.  Turn out on a lightly floured surface, knead ever so slightly, and form into a loose ball.
6.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
7.  Using a sharp knife, mark a deep X on the top, brush with butter milk, and sprinkle with reserved seeds.
8.  Bake 35-40 minutes, until a deep golden brown crust forms on top. The other way to know that it's ready is to remove it, carefully turn it over, and tap on bottom.  You're looking for a hollow sound.

Cool bread on a wire rack.


  1. The bread looks very good!!! Just wanted to say I was glad you finally found some whole wheat flour. Didn´t quite understand how it could be so difficult to find in Hobro. The town might be small, but not smaller than Nykøbing....and we have it in quite a few of the supermarkets. Did you check out your new health shop yet?

  2. Hey Kira, I think part of the problem is that I wasn't sure what to look for in the markets. But now I know what it is and where to find it, so I'm all set! I've been in to the health shop (it was a few months ago when it opened), but I wasn't terribly impressed. I will definitely approach them if I decide to pursue my business idea, though. Hope you four are doing well!