Sunday, March 03, 2013

Celtic Currant Cake, Soda Bread and Gingerbread.

Task this weekend - find and test recipes for Celtic Currant Cake, Celtic Soda Bread and Celtic Gingerbread.  Since I am very not Celtic (or at all, probably!), I had to rely on Mr Google for information.  If you reading are Celtic or of Celtic origin and know the below better than me please feel free to correct me!
For today's post, I'm trying out Celtic Soda Bread.  Currant Cake and Gingerbread to come in the next few posts.

Celtic Soda Bread ready to go in the oven

For the Celtic Soda Bread, best information I could find was that this is a basic bread, and that the reaction between the buttermilk and the soda is what makes it rise. There is quite a bit of indignation from some about the use of raisins, citrus zest, eggs or anything other than the basic recipe – with the protest being that anything 'fancy' in it isn't 'real' soda bread because this was a simple bread, and fancy ingredients weren't available.  I had the two recipes below to choose from, with the recipe title containing the linkback to the originating post, crediting the original source.

Celtic Soda Bread out of the oven

2 Cups Plain (Unbleached Flour)
1 Cup Coarse Wholemeal Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Bread Soda
2 Cups Buttermilk
In a medium bowl, combine ingredients until well blended non-sticky dough forms (being careful not to over knead). Place ball of dough (slightly flattened) on a lightly greated/floured cookie sheet and carefully cut a five pointed star on the top of the bread. Bake in an oven preheated to 430 degrees F, for about 30 to 45 minutes. Check to see if bread is done by "knocking" on the bottom of the loaf. If the sound is somewhat hollow, then the bread is finished baking.
Celtic Soda Bread ready to go in the mouth!
The recipe below is similar and is the one I"ll try today.  I'll add the photos of that loaf soon, as well as if the taste testers think there's much difference or if they have a preference.
Soda Bread/Soda Farls 
(Soda Bread if in Oven, Soda Farls if Done on Griddle, I think)
8oz plain white flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
enough buttermilk to make the dough into a thick, knead-able consistency.

So that's the recipes I'm having a go at this weekend for Soda Bread, with the recipes for the Celtic Gingerbread and Currant Cake, to come.  Will post pictures and see how it goes.  Lucky no one in the house objects to fresh baked bread, as I think we'll have more than enough of it by the time the recipe testing is done!
Further reading via links I found here:
'The Celtic Baker'
'Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread'

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