Monday, January 17, 2011
Oat Soda Bread
I just realized that in the two years I've been blogging about food, I haven't been very good or consistent about categorizing my recipes. When I type a new post there is a little box at the bottom that says Label. In it I should assign one of my self-created categories (baked goods, main dish, and so on)...but often I forget. So along with a host of other resolutions for 2011, I resolve to label my posts!
One of the reasons I bring this up is that in this post you will hear about a new spin on Irish Soda Bread, one of my all time favorite quick breads. So as I hurriedly scanned my archives for said soda bread recipe, I couldn't find it. Sure, I could spend the rest of the day going through each post, but I can think of a million other things I'd rather be doing. So you can see why it is important to label and categorize recipes in a food blog.
When I saw Oat Soda Bread here, I knew I had to make it. After all, I am one of the worlds greatest lovers of oatmeal. Not to mention bread. And at five total ingredients, who doesn't have time to make this? I assure you that you'll love it. Heidi topped hers with a mix of seeds, while I threw a large handful of caraway seeds into mine, but it's perfectly delicious without seeds of any kind. Keep in mind that this bread is made with oat flour which you can purchase or make yourself (see directions).
I've been reading so much lately about cooking from scratch, getting back to basics with our relationship to food, and making simple healthy foods that preserve not just our bodies and minds but the planet as well. If you haven't been in the kitchen in a while or have vowed to do more cooking at home instead of eating out or buying everything pre-made, here's a great recipe to get started.
My personal favorite is to spread a thick slice with butter, drizzle with a little honey, and sprinkle sea salt flakes over the top. Serve with a cup of milky coffee and you have my version of the perfect cozy breakfast.
Oat Soda Bread
Adapted ever so slightly from 101 Cookbooks
2c old fashioned oats
2 1/4c all purpose flour plus extra for kneading
1 3/4t baking soda
1 1/4t fine grain sea salt (regular salt works fine if you don't have sea salt)
1 3/4c buttermilk plus 2T for brushing the top before baking
1T caraway seeds (optional)
1. Place oats into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until you have a fine powder (a little grainy is fine).
2. Mix oats with flour, soda, salt, and caraway.
3. Make a well in the center and add gradually add buttermilk. You might find that you don't need the full 1 3/4c so go slowly. Conversely, if your dough seems too dry, add a tiny bit more buttermilk until you have a somewhat sticky but workable dough.
4. With floured hands, pick up the dough and form it into a round (try and get some height with it...you don't want a flat round) on a parchment lined baking sheet.
5. With a sharp knife, cut an X into the top and brush with buttermilk.
6. Bake in a 400F/205C oven for 30 minutes--on the middle rack.
7. After 30 minutes, carefully and quickly move the rack up a level and bake 20 minutes more until the top has a nice, dark brown crust. To test for doneness, carefully lift up the bottom and knock on it. If it sounds hollow, your bread is done.