The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

Kids Bake Soda Bread

January 14th, 2011 · No Comments · Posted in kids

Just a little bit of kneading is all it takes

I was looking forward to teaching the kids in my food appreciation classes about the simplest kind of Irish soda bread baked in a cast-iron pot. But then my wife steered me toward this recipe, which is a more Americanized take on the the classic, including two kinds of flour, a little egg, raisins and caraway seeds.

This is another lesson in quick breads, or those made with chemical rising agents–in this case baking soda and cream of tartar, mixed with buttermilk–instead of yeast. It makes a lovely loaf of semi-savory bread, well worth a little extra trouble. Serve it warm–fresh from the oven–with a pot of your favorite fruit preserves.

For dry ingredients, stir together in a large mixing bowl 3 cups (15 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, 1 cup (4 ounces) plain cake flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Add 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) room temperature butter cut into small pieces. Cut the butter into the flour until the mix resembles a loose grain. (We used our fingers for this, pinching the flour and butter together–a great activity for the kids.)

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, beat 1 egg and stir in 1 1/2 cups buttermilk. Add 1 cup raisins and 1 tablespoon caraway seeds.

Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and stir until everything is thoroughly incorporated. Pour the dough onto a work surface dusted with flour and knead just until the dough holds together in a soft ball. Place the ball onto a greased baking sheet, or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and pat it down until it is about eight inches around and two or three inches high. Score the top into a cross with a sharp knife.

Strawberry jam with your soda bread?

Place on the upper-middle rack of a 400-degree oven for 40 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the bread reads 170 degrees. Allow to cool for a bit before cutting into wedges. You can also brush the top with melted butter for a nicely burnished look.

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