Now that I have a kitchen, I’ve been trying to cook some things instead of just running out and grabbing fast food.  Today’s kitchen adventure was Irish Soda Bread.  I found the recipe online, from the Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread.

Here’s the recipe and baking instructions:
4 cups (16 oz) of all purpose flour.
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1 Teaspoon salt
14 oz of buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 425 F. degrees.  Lightly grease and flour a cake pan.
In a large bowl sieve and combine all the dry ingredients.
Add the buttermilk to form a sticky dough.  Place on floured surface and lightly knead (too much allows the gas to escape)
Shape into a round flat shape in a round cake pan and cut a cross in the top of the dough.
Cover the pan with another pan and bake for 30 minutes (this simulates the bastible pot).  Remove cover and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
The bottom of the bread will have a hollow sound when tapped so show it is done.
Cover the bread in a tea towel and lightly sprinkle water on the cloth to keep the bread moist.

So, first I put everything together to get ready to bake.  I don’t have a sieve, so I used the small colander instead.  I should really GET a sieve – because the way I did it took forever and was a total pain in the you-know-what.  But it worked, so that’s what is important!

My favorite part was the buttermilk. I LOVE the way that buttermilk looks when you pour it.

I don’t have a round cake pan, so I used a big rectangular one.  I’m hoping that the bread gods are okay with this substitution.

I have no idea what the bread is supposed to look like, or if I’ve kneaded it too much, or if I used too much flour, or anything.  I suppose this is why we’re calling it an adventure!

I didn’t get a chance to take a picture midway through the baking process when I took the top pan off – but it didn’t look horrible – and it SMELLS fantastic.  In fact, my whole apartment smells heavenly.  I’m getting totally excited about this bread!

45 minutes later – (plus some cooling time) – and I finally get to slice into the loaf!  And I am SO happy to say that it tastes better than it looks! In fact, it tastes as good as it smells. 🙂 (happy!!)

I couldn't help it - I took a bite before I snapped the picture!

My next baking adventure is challah bread – I have a couple of recipes to try that I got on various online sites – but I realized that I used up all of my flour with the soda bread.  So, I had to go out and buy more flour!  So I bought a 10 pound bag – hopefully that’ll last for a while.