green bread.

After destroying my back on Wednesday, I've felt a little like the St. Patrick's Day grinch. It's not like me to not have fun activities lined up as a holiday is about to pass, however trivial one could argue the holiday is. I was talking on the phone with my aunt this morning who told me all about the loaves of Irish Soda Bread she'd made for St. Patrick's Day. After toying with the idea in my head, I asked Ethan if he wanted to make some green bread for St. Patrick's Day. He threw his arms in the air with a definitive "mmmmm!" and a giggle and, well, it was off to the store we went for the couple ingredients we were missing. (This is all made possible by having the best chiropractor on the planet, I should point out. We'll leave out the fact that lugging in bags of groceries and a 30-pound toddler probably wasn't the best idea.)

We used a simple Irish Soda Bread recipe that I found online and added some green food coloring to make it green. Here's what you need:

- 4C Flour. We made two loaves, one gluten-free for my husband and one glutenous. We used the King Arthur Flour all-purpose gluten free blend for the gluten free loaf and the King Arthur Flour organic and unbleached all-purpose flour for the 'regular' loaf.
-2 tablespoons sugar
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into chunks
-1 1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 3/4c buttermilk, well shaken
-1 egg, lightly beaten
-Raisins (Optional)
-Green food coloring (Optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda, sugar and salt. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers until no more large clumps exist.
3. Combine the lightly beaten egg with the buttermilk. Pour into dry ingredients and mix, add raisins and food coloring if desired. Dough will be wet!
4. Using wet hands, form a large shaggy ball of dough and place on a parchment paper lined sheet tray. Cut an “x” in the center of the loaf with a knife.
5. Bake for 50 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

We only ended up adding raisins to the gluten free loaf. Ethan took his job of putting the raisins into the batter very, very seriously and with utmost precision and care. Of course, more raisins likely ended up in his mouth than in the dough.

We missed the "shape like a ball" memo. Ethan had a hard time reaching the dough in the deep mixing bowl so I transferred it to a smaller baking dish for him to knead into the right shape to place onto our baking sheet. He had more fun globbing, smacking, poking and kneading the dough than shaping it, but it's the taste that counts -- not the shape!



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