Saturday, March 16, 2013

Celebrating with Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread

whole wheat bread

Would it come as any surprise if I said I love St. Patrick's Day for the great Irish food?

No, I am not Irish and I am not really into green beer or pub crawls (even if I wasn't pregnant), but I do enjoy an excuse to try new recipes and celebrate with my the old classic corned beef and cabbage dinner. My Mom made it every year and I loved the sweet green cabbage and hearty potatoes that came along with the salty corned beef.

I have kept the tradition up with my family and have added in a few other favorites including Colcannon and Irish Soda Bread. Also be sure to check out my Guinness Corned Beef Grilled Cheese recipe - it is amazing!

This year I decided to try something different. Well, a twist on a classic. Since we got our Wonder Mill I have been experimenting with more freshly ground whole wheat in my baking. This recipe is made entirely with wheat berries I ground.

grain mill

It ended up being a lovely addition to our usual currant studded bread. The wheat grinds quickly and has such a fresh and nutty aroma.

whole wheat flour

Have you ever baked with fresh ground wheat? Soda bread is a simple bread to start with. There is no kneading involved and no yeast. This dense recipe worked well in my Kitchen-Aid making preparation a breeze.

First start with the dry ingredients and cut in cold, unsalted butter.

Then add the currants, dried cranberries or raisins to the mix and add in all the wet ingredients. I chose to do mostly currants with the addition of a handful of dried cranberries for their added sweetness.

Irish Soda Bread

This is not a light or delicate batter. I used my professional Kitchen-Aid because it has a little more oomph than the Artisan model. I am not sure my poor arms would have been up to the task of trying to hand mix this.

decorating the bread

Poured into a pre-greased cake pan, I added a little personal touch to my loaf with some extra currents and a shamrock cookie cutter.

Baked for almost an hour, this bread is great with a little butter.


Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread
from Kitchen Kneads.

You Will Need:

  • 4 cups of whole wheat flour, freshly ground
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 1 c. dried currants
  • 1/2 c. dried cranberries
  • 1 1/2 c. buttermilk
  • 3 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch cake pan with non-stick spray.

In a large stand mixer mix together the dry ingredients. Cut in the butter until the mix resembles coarse sand. Stir in the dried fruit.

In a small bowl whisk the buttermilk and eggs together. Add this all at once to the dry mixture. Stir to combine. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula to ensure all the flour is combined. Pour into the cake pan and smooth out the top. *Optional - decorate the top with dried fruit.

Bake for 45 minutes to an our until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the bread cool for 10 minutes then remove from the pan and slice.

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