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Ireland – Soda Breads (regular & sweet)

Around the World in 12 Dishes

To kick off the second season of “Around the World in 12 Dishes”, we go next door to where we had started out a year ago and set up camp in Ireland’s capital Dublin. You can find our colouring placemat right here and the passport right here (the cover for the passport is right here for you!).

The “Emerald Isle” is known for its very down-to-earth cuisine and when we started to research what they have on offer, one thing caught our eye very quickly – soda bread. Me as a German love myself a good bread and since bread goes with almost anything out there, we figured we’d give it a shot.

Going with a version I found on Allrecipes, I knew that Nico would be all over it, since he loves baking in pretty much any shape and form, so when I put everything out, he was right there, ready to go.

Vinegar and MilkThe beauty of this recipe is that it is so very simple to do, starting out with mixing the milk and the vinegar together and letting it sit for 10 minutes so it can curdle (I know, not a very appetizing thought in itself, but it is needed to wake up the baking soda…).

 Dry IngredientsOnce that is done, we mixed all of the dry ingredients together and then…

Dough…slowly added the milk mixture until a dough formed. It is not very easy to mix it all, because it gets pretty dense. So after Nico gave up on it, I swooped in (with some help from my all-time favourite Muppet Animal) and kneaded it into a nice smooth, if very sticky dough ball, which I put onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet, which Valerie scored with a sharp knife so that while rising the loaf would keep its shape.

Irish Soda BreadIt is supposed to bake for 45 minutes on 400 F, but since our oven still thinks it’s a macrowave, on 325 F was enough and it was so great to see it rise and bake.

Taste testSo as soon as it was done, we just had to cut it open and it was awesome, crunchy crust, but super soft and smooth interior. Nico immediately jumped on it and had a piece, so a success it was for sure! A little later on, for dinner, we used some of the bread for a yummy open-faced sandwich with some smoked turkey breast and cheese and it was gooood!

And since we liked it so much, we immediately tried to think of what else we could do and came up with another version that started out with chocolate chips, then we added raisins to the thought and finally I added the last bit to it – cinnamon. Valerie at first looked at me and said “how does cinnamon and raisins work?” before having a “duh!” moment upon realizing that you can buy the cinnamon raisin bread, lol.

Choc chip version in the makingNico was a little less eager this time around, since he was stuck on watching a “Go, Diego, Go” DVD, but at least we were able to bring him in for the dumping of ingredients (have I ever mentioned that he loves to dump stuff?). The only difference to the original was that we added the chocolate chips (1/2 cup), raisins (1/2 cup) and cinnamon (1 teaspoon) into the dry mix before adding the milk, so it would be well mixed into the dough.

Chocolate chip cinnamon raisin breadThe only difference we made other than that was to make it into more of an oval loaf shape, since it give more even slices. While it was baking, you should have smelled the scent of chocolate and a hint of cinnamon going through the house, I almost stepped on my tongue from it…

SamplingOf course Nico tried it right away, since there is chocolate involved, and while it packs a bit of a punch in the calorie department, it is just soooo good that it is hard to restrain yourself, haha.

We want to try more different variations in the future and will definitely let you know how they go :)

Here are the variations we’ve tried so far:

1) Irish cinnamon raisin soda bread; add 1 tbsp of cinnamon to the dry ingredients and mix in. When the wet and dry are partially mixed add 1/2 cup of raisins, knead and bake as usual. Sorry we forgot to take a pic will add one next time we make one :)

2) Irish bacon & cheese soda bread; when the wet and dry are partially mixed add 1/2 cup of cooked, chopped bacon and 1/2 cup of cheese, cubed about 1/4 inches. We used Monterrey Jack because that’s what we had, but any firm cheese, like cheddar, that can be cubed would be good. Knead and bake as usual. And I have to add this: Dear breads of the world – it was nice to have known you, today has just killed all of you for me. We made THE bread of all breads – this one!

Irish bacon & cheese soda bread

3) Irish apple cinnamon soda bread; when the wet and dry are partially mixed add 1 cup of peeled and chopped apples and one tablespoon of cinnamon. Knead and bake as usual. It has the texture of an apple fritter from Tim Horton’s (if you have that chain where you live), just minus all the grease. Delicious as it is on its own, you can cube it up and have it with some vanilla bean ice cream (chocolate might work as well), too!

Irish apple cinnamon soda bread wbrown

4) Irish pizza soda bread; when the wet and dry are partially mixed add:
1 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp onion salt or powder
1/2 tsp garlic salt or powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 cup pepperoni, cubbed
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, cubbed
Knead with your hands and bake as usual. It tastes awesome, like an actual pizza! Minus the sauce which you could use as a dip. This would also be very tasty with a good spaghetti bolognese (meat sauce)!

Irish pizza soda bread

Check the other blogs of “Around the World in 12 Dishes” for their Irish creations:

Adventures In Mommydom, Creative Family Fun, Domestic Goddesque, Enchanted Homeschooling Mom, Glittering Muffins, Here Come The Girls, Juggling with Kids, Kid World Citizen, Kitchen Counter Chronicles, Little Artists, Mermaids’ Makings, Montessori Tidbits, Mummymummymum and The Educators’ Spin On It.

If you do this, we’d LOVE to see a photo of it. Email it to us or post it on our Facebook page. We’d love to do a Facebook album, a Pinterest board and a page of your creations :)

Please link up your Irish dish and/or craft in our linky below, we would love to see it!

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