Remember my failed attempted at making Irish soda bread? (Hey, that’s great if you don’t! Just don’t try to remember, okay?)
Well, I tried my hand at it again, on St. Patrick’s Day (okay, okay, it really has taken me some time to write this…oops). And…it was 80% a success (the other 20% includes failure to rise enough and the fact that I ate more than a quarter of it after it came out of the oven)!
One day in my infinite free time (read: not reading for Strategic Management or formulating a budget or reading three chapters in Personality because the professor insists on cramming as much information into 3 hours as humanely possible), I was browsing for a recipe in which I could use whole wheat flour, since that’s all that I had on hand.
I wanted a bread that had a good crumb, was tender, and rose well (and now this sounds like a Cook’s illustrated column).
I found lots of recipes that were similar to each other, but none really caught my eye. I figured I’d just have to work around a recipe.
I knew some recipes for other baked goods (doughnuts!) used potato flour to make it tender, so I figured I’d just bake a potato and see how that went.
Lesson #1: You can steam a potato.
Steaming a potato had never occurred to me before, but apparently it is possible.
The last time my Irish soda bread was kind of dry, so I knew I needed to add more “buttermilk” to the dough.
Lesson #2: Vanilla almond milk works great as a sub for regular almond milk (although probably not in savory dishes…vanilla-flavored mashed potatoes? I don’t think so).
Last time my bread stuck to the skillet I baked it in, so this time I made sure I generously greased a baking sheet.
Lesson #3: Olive oil is your friend (it also makes for a tasty bottom crust on your bread).
So, with these three lessons combined, I set to work on the bread.
Let’s compare the two loaves:
However, this one was dry, crumbly, and just not good.
A great testament to the success of this recipe comes from the fact that I have no picture of the full loaf. What can I say, it was tasty…
This bread pretty much tasted like cake. It wasn’t dry at all, it held together well, but it just didn’t rise as high as I expected. I think this came from the fact that I should have attempted to knead it a little before plopping it on the cookie sheet.
The verdict? Overall, a success! (but on the inside, I’m still wanting to try it one more time…just to see if I can get it to rise. Hey, I’ve got a lot of caraway seeds left…)
Have you ever turned around a baking fail?
Have a great Saturday!