March 16, 2011

Irish Cranberry Soda Bread

At the kids' preschool, they make Irish soda bread every year, often made with buttermilk, and Tristan, now six (and a half, he says), had yet to try it.  So this year, I finally got my act together. Nothing like a rainy day to inspire allergy-safe baking with the kids.

I thought, I'm finally going to share some Irish tradition with the kids for St. Patrick's Day (which has become a much more noticed holiday around here since it is shared with Addison's birthday).  Well, it turns out that sugar and raisins (or cranberries, or any other like additions) are completely non-traditional.  Of course.

Traditional soda bread is actually made of four main ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk or other acid.  There are many more traditional Irish soda bread recipes out there.  You can try them for yourself, substituting the buttermilk with 1 cup safe milk+1 T. vinegar for dairy allergies.

When we got to the shelf to buy the raisins for the recipe, the kids picked the dried cranberries instead of the raisins.  So here is our version, based on this vegan Irish Soda Bread recipe:

Irish Cranberry Soda Bread: NO Dairy, Egg, Nut, Peanut, Soy* (contains: wheat)

1 cup safe milk (we used Trader Joe's unsweetened soymilk*, but rice milk or other varieties should work)
1 T. apple cider vinegar
2-1/4 cup flour
2 T. sugar
2 t. baking powder
heaping 1/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries (or raisins, or other dried fruit that may inspire you)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Add vinegar to milk and set aside to curdle.

3. Mix all dry ingredients together in large mixing bowl, including the cranberries.

4. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and mix together just until a dough is formed.

5. Sprinkle flour on lightly greased pan, silpat, or parchment paper lined pan.
6. Place on pan, sprinkle more flour on top (it was very sticky so I ended up coating my hands with flour), and form into a ball. 
7. Use a knife and slice an "X" on top.

8. Bake for about 40 minutes.  Ready when toothpick comes out clean, or when it sounds hollow when tapped.  (I baked mine for more like 50 minutes, which allowed for some light browning over the top crust.)

9. Set it on a rack to cool to prevent the bottom from getting soft.
10. Slice and enjoy!

Kids' Verdict:
Tristan asked for 3 more slices after dinner.  Obviously, the bread won out over the spaghetti I had thrown together and called dinner.
Logan didn't like "those little black things."  I think the cranberries may have been a bit tart for him.

The recipe was easy and the bread came out moist and tasty.  The cranberries gave it a little kick.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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