Monday, December 21, 2009
Irish Soda Bread with Golden Raisins
It's cold and snowy outside so all I wanted for the past few days was soup and bread. I ended up making an awesome tomato cabbage barley soup but there was no bread to be found in the house. *gasp* Clearly I have been slacking since I always have at least one type of homemade bread in the house. I didn't want to wait hours for a yeasted bread so I decided on Irish Soda Bread with Golden Raisins (page 400). Yes I know those aren't golden raisins. It doesn't matter though because the Thompson raisins I used were excellent as well, so back off!
Anyway, the bread is super easy to put together with ingredients you most likely have kicking around. It bakes up in about 45 minutes and the result is a warm, dense loaf which is wonderful slathered with margarine and served alongside a hearty soup or stew. This bread however, is best the same day you make it as there's really not much fat in it (i.e., it doesn't store well).
Taste-wise, it is a fairly neutral bread. Since there isn't any yeast or a lot of other flavourful ingredients, there isn't a ton of flavour. That neutral taste though goes for any Irish Soda Bread and it means it goes well with a savoury soup or stew or even a sweet jam. Even though there are raisins in it, the bread doesn't clash with other dishes. It went surprisingly well with my strong-tasting, heavy soup.
The next time you want some bread to go along with your soup or stew, give this a shot. It's easy, neutral-tasting, fast and a nice change of pace from yeasted bread.