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Archive for the ‘breads’ Category

brown soda bread

 

to accompany yesterday’s recipe of guinness beef stew.  i had only ever had regular (white flour) soda bread.  now that i am trying to substitute wheat flour for white flour as much as possible, i was estatic to find a brown soda bread recipe in The Irish Pub Cookbook, by Magaret M. Johnson.  i made some adjustments based upon other recipes i came across.  this bread is a great (and healthy) accompaniment to a hot stew on a cold winter night.

 

ingredients:

3 c. coarse whole-wheat flour

1 c. all-purpose flour

2 T. oat bran

2 tsp. baking soda

¼ c. sugar

1 T. salt

2 large eggs

1¼ c. buttermilk

 

instructions:

preheat oven to 375°F.  butter and flour (or spray with olive oil) a 9x5x3-in loaf pan.

1)  in a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients.  make a well in the center.

2)  in a small bowl, whisk together eggs and buttermilk. (as a shortcut to cut down on dishes, i like to measure my liquid first in a liquid measuring cup, then crack the eggs in that and whisk together. that way, i don’t dirty up another bowl!)  with a wooden spoon, stir the liquid into the dry ingredients until just combined.

3)  spoon dough into loaf pan; smooth top with the back of the wooden spoon. brush with buttermilk or water.

4)  Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out dry. ideally, if you tap the bottom of the bread and it sounds hollow, then it’s done.  however, i have no idea what a perfectly hollow-sounding bread loaf actually sounds like — especially when you take the pan into consideration, which just seems to distort what is supposed to be a hollow sound.  SO, the toothpick is my preferred method of doneness testing.

5)  remove from oven.  let cool for 10 minutes.  turn bread out onto rack (top side up) and allow to cool for about an hour.

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honey cheddar biscuits

 

i like this recipe because it’s really flexible as far as extras you can throw in there, something i have been experimenting with lately. i’ll go into more detail of variations at the end of the recipe.

ingredients:

1 c. AP flour (or ½c. white, ½c. wheat) + extra

3 tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. cream of tartar (i get nervous about wheat flour making the dough flat, so i use a rounded tsp of tartar)

¼ tsp. salt

¼ c. cold butter, cubed into small pieces (earth balance works too, i was pleased to discover recently!)

½ c. shredded cheddar

1/3 c. milk

1 T. honey (or agave nectar)

instructions:

preheat oven to 425°F.

1)  mix 1 c. flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt in medium bowl.

2)  using a pastry blender or two knives in a criss-cross motion, cut in butter until mixtures resembles pea-sized crumbs. with a wooden spoon, stir in cheese. add milk & honey; stir until mixture forms a soft ball.

3)  normally, now would come the part for kneading the dough. but i’m pretty lazy when it comes to kneading dough so i cheat a bit. (but if you are a better person than i, than go ahead and turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead with your hands abut 8 times.) for the lazy way:  using the back of the wooden spoon, squish the dough against the side of the bowl until you feel like you’ve “kneaded” all the dough, about 8 times. add a couple extra tablespoons of flour into the bowl during the process. by the end, you should be able to tough the dough without it sticking to your hands, but it also should be moist still. (i apologize for my choice of words, for those of you who do not like the word “moist.”)

4)  divide dough into 8 balls. place on a baking sheet. bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.

variations:

1)  throw some shredded parmesan in with the cheddar

2)  substitute the cheddar for other kinds of cheeses: just recently i used garlic herbed goat cheese. pepper jack could also add a fun kick

3) use sugar instead of honey, if you don’t have honey

4)  throw in some chives or finely diced green onions

5)  to spice it up a bit, throw in a diced jalepeno or serrano pepper

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