When I saw Dr. Meg Sorick’s post this morning about baking Irish Soda Bread and realized I actually had all the ingredients, including buttermilk, I had to try it. Because it uses baking soda, there’s no rising involved and because my Kitchen Aid mixer sits on my countertop, I didn’t even have to try to lift anything. In the time it took the oven to heat, I had mixed the dough and shaped it into two smaller rounds, ready to bake.
Why did I have buttermilk? Because I had watched an episode of Bobby Flay’s Brunch on Food Network that used buttermilk and was going to try a recipe from there. Did I try one, you ask? Well, no, I never did…
Anyhow, thirty-five minutes later, we had warm bread for breakfast. As Meg says, it is delightful with butter and honey. If I’d had raisins, I probably would have added them, but it was awfully good the way it was. Believe me, if I can bake this, anybody can. You only need flour, salt, baking soda, buttermilk (or milk you sour with vinegar or lemon juice) and a little sugar. You can find the recipe at Meg’s site, along with some great fiction and poetry!
The picture is my own…
I’ve told you before that cooking is not really my thing, but I am a pretty good baker. Especially desserts for special occasions, like holidays and birthdays. I have some awesome Christmas cookie recipes that we only make at the holidays and occasionally I bake biscuits or cinnamon rolls. But I have never baked a loaf of bread before in my life. And I wanted to do that.
So I asked Santa for a bread machine for Christmas and the big guy came through with a beautiful Cuisinart, not too expensive and probably lots more bells and whistles than I need. I chose a medium sized (1-1/2 pound loaf) of cinnamon swirl raisin bread for my first attempt. How hard could that be, right?
Well, I perused the directions and got my ingredients out. I warmed the milk to room temperature and had bread flour and a new jar of fresh yeast. I put everything in exactly as the recipe said, chose the settings and started the machine.
When it dinged five times I opened it and took out the dough to roll it out, sprinkle with cinnamon, sugar and raisins and roll it up and tuck it back into the machine. It kept dinging annoyingly the whole time until I hit stop while I rolled out the dough. Then I turned the machine back on but instead of resuming, it started kneading my dough again! Because it had gone back to the beginning of the cycle instead of resuming. Because I had shut it off.
I didn’t want to waste the whole unbaked loaf, but I wasn’t sure what to do. Then I realized there was a bake only setting and changed the machine to that, to bake for an hour. But then I panicked because I didn’t know if the bread should rise again, so I turned the machine off (again!) And let the loaf sit for an hour or so. It did rise some more, I’m not really sure how much. So I finally just baked it.
All in all, the bread came out looking and tasting okay. In reading the directions more carefully, I found the five dings signal when to add in ingredients, six dings would have signalled when all the kneading and stuff was done and I should have rolled out the dough. I should have just left the top open and not turned the machine off to finish rising and baking.
Tomorrow I might try just a plain white sandwich loaf and see how that goes before I work my way through the recipe book. 🙂
My 3 1/2 year old grandson, JP, sent me this adorable flower cupcake for my birthday today ❤
We went to dinner last night for his daddy’s (oldest son’s) birthday and then back to our house for Milky Way cake, a recipe passed down from my mother-in-law that my boys always request for their birthdays or holidays. It’s so good and birthday calories don’t count, right?
Here’s the recipe:
Milky Way Cake (makes 2 three layer cakes!)
8 regular size Milky Way bars
2 sticks butter
2 cups sugar
1 cup pecans (optional)
1/2 t. baking soda
1 ¼ cup buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
Cream one stick butter and sugar and set aside. Melt one stick butter and candy bars in double boiler until candy is melted. Beat eggs into sugar and butter one at a time. Put baking soda in buttermilk, then add to melted candy bar mixture (take off of heat). Add chocolate mixture to butter and sugar and beat, then add flour a little at a time and beat to combine. Add nuts, chopped, if using.
Put into three round 8 inch pans, greased and floured, and bake at 325 degrees for 30 – 40 minutes.
(You will need to make this recipe twice for each recipe of frosting and to make two three-layer cake
2 ½ cups sugar
1 small can (5 oz.) evaporated milk
1 stick butter
6 oz. chocolate chips
1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow fluff
Cook sugar and milk over medium heat (until soft ball stage) about 4 minutes after it comes to a boil, stirring constantly. Add 1 stick butter, chocolate chips, marshmallow fluff, beat until smooth. Cool until almost cold before frosting cakes.
The cakes freeze well, frosted or unfrosted, wrapped well in plastic wrap and then foil.