My spring break is drawing to a close. For once I made sure I could really relax and not have a ton of school work hanging over my head the whole time. It made a huge difference. I had a great visit with my older daughter, did a bit of spring cleaning, baked an elaborate from-scratch chocolate cake for my husband’s birthday, had long walks with my dog each day, finished a short story I’ve been working on, did some other writing, and read a lot. This morning I slept in and then read for a while, a cozy mystery by an Australian author. It’s my first book of hers and it is enjoyable, light reading. At one point the characters, who have formed an Agatha Christie Book Club of all things, have afternoon tea together, and being mid-morning, I decided to have a cup of tea and a bit to eat.
My husband and I have all but eliminated bread in our house but that’s what I really wanted. Tea and toast. Staring into the abyss that is a nearly empty fridge I saw the leftover buttermilk from the chocolate birthday cake recipe. Hmm, buttermilk. That made me think of Irish soda bread. Irish soda bread is a snap to make and goes really great with a steaming cup of tea, Irish or not. So, I grabbed my Baking with Julia cookbook and headed to the kitchen.
Because of the low-carb mandate we have been living with, I had almost no all-purpose flour, having used three cups for the birthday cake earlier in the week. So, with a nod to Marion Cunningham’s original recipe, I had to improvise and substitute a bit to produce a half-recipe of her Irish soda bread. And, since I was in a hurry to get back to my book with the tea and toast, I baked it in a muffin tin to speed things up a bit. I set up a tea tray with good Irish butter and my homemade orange marmalade. The end result? Yummy!
Irish Soda Bread in a Hurry
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of self-rising flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
- ½ cup raisins
- 1 cup of buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Spray muffin tin with vegetable cooking spray and set aside.
- Put all ingredients in bowl of stand mixer except for buttermilk. Mix briefly to combine.
- With mixer on low, slowly drizzle in buttermilk. Mix on low-medium until dough comes together and forms around paddle. If too sticky, add a tablespoon of flour until ball of dough forms. (Likewise, if too dry, add a few drops of buttermilk until ball of dough forms.)
- Using an ice cream scoop, divide dough evenly between 12 muffin cups.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes, until tops are golden and toothpick comes out clean from center of dough.
- Serve warm with good butter and jam.