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Hi KyleW: I used the same Cook's Illustrated Irish Soda Bread recipe as you did. I used my thermometer on it, at 180F it came out with batter on it! It was over-browning so I covered it with foil. Even after cooling - it had a slight sticky centre portion. I also made the recipe from Saveur March, 2001 and found it to be superior. The suggestions that you were given to tweak the Cook's Illustrated are all here in the Saveur recipe. Here it is for you.
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
4 tbsp. butter
1 cup raisins
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425F. Sift together the flour, sugar, slat and baking soda into a large mixing bowl.
Using a pastry cutter or 2 knives, work butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal, then stir in raisins.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add beaten egg and buttermilk to well and mix in with a wooden spoon until dough is too stiff to stir. Dust hands with a little flour, then gently knead dough in the bowl just long enough to form a rough ball. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and shape into a round loaf.
Transfer dough to a large, lightly greased cast-iron skillet or a baking sheet. Using a serrated knife, score top fo dough about 1/2" deep with an "X". Transfer to oven and bake until bread is golden and bottom sounds hollow when tapped with a knife, about 40 minutes. Transfer bread to a rack to let cool briefly. Serve bread warm at room temperature or sliced and toasted.
 
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