Posts Tagged ‘buttermilk’

Irish-ish Soda Bread

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

I adore the smell of baking bread, and I know that I am not alone. Dinner last Thursday was a chicken stew prepared in the crockpot, so when I came home and read on Seven Spoons about a bread that could be prepared in an hour, from start to finish, I was sold. I had to make a couple of quick substitutions, but I had most of the ingredients on hand.

The bread was very tasty–in fact, we ate most of it before dinner while we decided what to do about the disastrously inedible chicken stew (a story for another day). The bread was crusty, with a biscuit-like crumb. Warm from the oven and slathered with butter and homemade raspberry jam…I’d almost rather go hunt up the leftovers than sit here and tell you about it.

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Irish-ish Soda Bread
Adapted from Seven Spoons
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (large flake, not instant)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup, 1/2 stick) cold, unsalted butter, diced

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, oats, salt, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Set aside.

Using a pastry cutter, two knives or your fingers, cut the butter into the flour cutting and work the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the buttermilk/egg mixture, mixing until you have a rough dough. Use your hands to turn and lightly knead the bread in the bowl, incorporating all the dry ingredients.

Working quickly, turn the dough onto a lightly-floured work surface and knead gently for about 30 seconds; the dough should be soft and elastic. Form the dough into a boule, about 8-inches across with a gentle dome and slightly-flattened top. Dust the surface of the bread with a sprinkling of flour, then use a sharp knife to slash a shallow cross from edge to edge of the loaf. Transfer bread to prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. If the crust gets too dark during baking, tent loosely with foil. Cool on a rack for at least 10 minutes, then enjoy.
Makes 1 loaf.

Note: Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, everyone!

Lettuce Wedges with Bacon and Blue Cheese Dressing

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Since Valentine’s Day was a fancy steakhouse dinner, we started the meal with a fancy steakhouse salad. The dressing recipe comes from allrecipes.com, with a few substitutions. The dressing was very, very good–the milk was my own addition, because the basic recipe was so thickĀ  that it would have been more at home with chicken wings than it would have been on a salad. No worries though. The milk thinned it out just enough for a salad dressing that was rich and creamy.

The one problem: It had me craving buffalo wings.

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Lettuce Wedges with Bacon and Blue Cheese Dressing

For the Salad:

  • 1 romaine heart, split into four wedges
  • 1 large tomato, seeded & diced
  • 1/2 lb bacon, fried until crisp, crumbled
  • freshly ground black pepper

For the Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise and Worcestershire sauce. Season with mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir in blue cheese. Whisk in milk, a tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is achieved. Cover, and refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.
  2. Place lettuce wedge on a plate, drizzle with dressing, top with tomatoes, and sprinkle with bacon crumbles. Finish with cracked black pepper to taste.

Note: We were lucky enough to find decent tasting tomatoes in February, which helped make this salad taste so great. The dressing was rich, but overall, the salad was crisp and fresh and just delicious. I can’t wait to repeat this recipe with fresh summer tomatoes.