Nov 22, 2011

Irish Soda Bread & a Versatile Blogger Award !!

Hope you all had a very Happy Thanksgiving !! Did you all go shopping for the Black Friday doorbuster sales? We did ,and had an awesome time. We left from home at 10pm on Thursday and was back home only at 7am today. Give me any excuse for shopping :-)

Also I'm so happy to announce that I have received my first ever blogger Award !
Christy of My Kitchen Flavors - Bon Apetite has been so kind enough to send me a Versatile Blogger Award. Thank you so much Christy, you simply made my day!!

Today I thought of sharing a simple and easy bread recipe called the Irish Soda bread.
Irish Soda bread, as the name suggests used Baking Soda as the raising agent instead of yeast. It can be made plain, or filled with nuts or dry fruits or even made savoury using caraway seeds or crushed peppercorns. I made a sweet soda bread by adding dried Cranberries and we had it for breakfast along with some butter and a nice hot cup of tea. Later on we had it with some Red Wine and that combo was good too ;-)

The first channel I ever saw after having reached US was the Food Network channel. I love watching cookery shows but to have an entire channel showing food shows 24x7 was like a dream come true.

On one such occasion I happened to make note of this Irish Soda bread recipe by Ina Garten featured on her Barefoot Contessa - Back to Basics show. It looked so easy to prepare that I was just tempted to make it one weekend. The moment I woke up I went to go over the recipe again, make changes as per my requirements and bake away. When Manish woke up, the house was smelling heavenly and he couldn't wait to eat!!

Though I followed the recipe by Barefoot Contessa, I found her amount for the bread dough too much for the both of us, so I took a risk and made several changes from the original recipe, but it turned out pretty good nevertheless! And as she suggests in her show, its a much easier version of making bread where there is no kneading, no waiting for the yeast to rise and so on.

Irish Soda Bread Recipe
Recipe source: BarefootContessa-Food Network

You'll need
All purpose flour - 3cups
Baking soda - 1tsp
Baking powder - 1tbsp (optional)
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Egg - 1
Buttermilk - 1.5 cups
Butter - 1/2 stick
Orange extract ( or Orange zest) - 1/2 tsp
Cranberries - 2 cups ( or as per your choice)
Salt - 1/2 tsp

1. Preheat Oven to 375F
2. Whisk together the dry ingredients: All purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar and salt.
3. Break the butter into cubes and mix it well into the dry ingredients forming a coarse texture.
4. Beat together the egg with the buttermilk and mix it slowly into the dry ingredients and blend it all together with a blender making a smooth and lightly wet and sticky dough.
5. Add the cranberries and orange extract/zest and mix well.
6. Lightly flour your working surface and place the dough on it, add more flour over the dough and mildly knead the dough until smooth.(Do not over knead).
7. Lightly brush the top of the dough with little melted butter to give a nice brown crust.
8. Place the dough on a baking sheet and make an X shaped cut in the centre of the dough (this allows the dough to rise and spread well) and place it on the middle rack of your oven.
9. Bake for 40-45 mins until a toothpick inserted into the dough comes out clean and also the loaf should sound hollow when tapped.
10. Remove and place it on a cooling rack for 15-20 mins. Cut the loaf into slices and serve warm with butter.

Suggestions: You can even make chive butter biscuits with the same batter by dividing the batter into smaller portions for the biscuits. ( you can adjust the amount of sugar as per your wish)

Again coming back to my award, it would have never been possible to maintain this blog if it hadn't been for the support and interest you all have shown in my little space here. I enjoy each minute here and want to share more and more recipes with you all. So a big Thank you to all of you , my friends!!

I'd love to share this award to the following bloggers whom I think are doing an awesome job with their blogs and are very versatile in their approach:
1. Shirley of Enriching your Kid
2. Sonali Pradhan of Only Fish Recipes
3. Khushi of A Girl's Diary
4. Aarthi of Yummy Tummy
5. Vardhini of Zesty Palette
Do accept the award by copying and pasting it on your blog and share it with 5 other bloggers.
(Award displayed above)

Have a great day everyone and do try out this easy Irish Soda bread!!

I'm sharing this post with:
1. Breakfast Club # 17 event hosted by Krithi , started by Helen of Fuss free flavours .
2.  Bake Fest #1 Event hosted by Vardhini of Zesty Palette.
3. Global Food Festival hosted by Kalyani of Sizzling Tastebuds



  1. Thanks manju for your lovely award..Thank you so much for remembering me while you pass the award.This means a lot to me..


  2. Congrats on the award and so nice of you to remember me. Thanks a bunch Manju.

    The bread looks fabulous. You could link to bake fest if interested.

    Checkout my 200th Post Giveaway
    Event: Bake Fest
    Event: Dish it Out - Soy and Tomatoes

  3. Wow, this bread looks fantastic. I'm a big of her recipes and so after seeing the result bookmarking this Manju dear.

  4. Looks just mouthwatering and easy to prepare and tempting!

  5. Hey Manju,
    You deserve this award. Thanks for passing it on. Keep up the good work!

  6. Thank you so much everyone for the lovely comments...



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