Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Rosemary Garlic Soda Bread

When some people make soup they plan ahead and have lovely bread on hand to have along with, others, like myself, decide about an hour before dinner that they really really need to have lovely bread along with this soup to make their lives complete but due to a stronger commitment to their novelty slippers (seriously, who doesn't love sock monkey slippers?) than grocery shopping will search the internets for a recipe that they happen to have everything on hand for and can make without any of those time consuming steps, like rising.  Which is where soda bread comes in.  It is delicious, makes me remember just about every St. Patrick's day growing up, brings me back to those 6 months I spent in Ireland and is dead simple to make, as in no rising, no kneading, nothing strenuous.  This one has garlic, rosemary and cheddar cheese which gives it a nice flavor, not at all like traditional garlic bread, but distantly related.  Some claim to not be able to tell there is any cheese in the bread at all, which I suppose may be a valid claim, but there is no butter either and I am sure that you would miss the fat in any case, even if you didn't miss the cheese flavor.  I found the recipe here and followed it pretty exactly, except I used powdered buttermilk and just completely skipped the step where you are supposed to knead the dough into a ball.  The lump of dough I had would have been nearly impossible to knead so instead of spending 10 minutes cursing the dough and whoever created this recipe, I slapped it onto the baking sheet and mushed it into a ball and the world did not end and the bread was pretty good, if I do say so myself.

Start by mixing all the dry ingredients together.  If you use powdered buttermilk add the powder now, then when you add the liquid just add the appropriate amount of water.

Mix in your water, or actual buttermilk.  I used to use actual buttermilk, and I always had big plans for using the entire jug of it before it went bad, but somewhere along the way I never quite managed to follow through on them and there was frequently buttermilk languishing in the back of the fridge.  But then I heard that the powdered stuff works just fine and I haven't looked back since.   

Anyways, once everything is combined, dump it onto a baking sheet and form it into some sort of uniform loaf type shape, the recipe says to score it, which would imply a much dryer dough than what I had, but then again, I didn't knead it all so there you have it.

Bake it until it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, which is actually not what the recipe says, but how I judge all my bread even though I cant always tell if it sounds hollow or not, I guess I should have spent more time a la Trixie Belden solving mysteries and rapping on walls looking for secret passages in my youth.

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