the Rebirth of Baking

Other then two boxed mix brownie batches and a batch of ready-to-bake cookies, I haven't baked a dang thing since we moved to Colorado. That is crazy to me and makes me a little sad. During our last 6 months in PA, I was probably making Irish Soda Bread every two or three weeks (not to mention these scones, and these muffins... yummm).

I missed it, and as this past Thursday was St. Patrick's Day, it seemed like a good time to give this whole high altitude baking thing a try. I was a little terrified that I would end up with a rock hard, collapsed bread pancake! But there's nothing to do but try, right?!

Not a bread pancake!

The general adjustments I found online were to reduce leaveners and sugar, increase flour and liquid; also increase the oven temp and reduce cooking time. That translated to (my original, with adjustments after):

High Altitude Irish Soda Bread

Sift together:
2 heaping cups all-purpose flour [plus 3 T]
1/2 t. baking soda [reduce to 1/4 t.]
2 t. baking powder [reduce to 1 t.]
2 T. brown sugar [reduce 1 1/2 T brown sugar]
1/2 t. salt

Cut in:
3 T. softened butter 
1/2 cup raisins

1 cup buttermilk (or scant cup regular milk with 1 T. vinegar to sour) [plus 1.5 T milk]

Mix thoroughly.

Turn out dough on floured board (don't skimp on the flour, its a sticky dough!), sprinkle a bit more flour on top, flour your hands, and knead for 2-3 minutes. Shape into round loaf.

Place in greased 8 or 9 inch cake pan. Cut a "cross" on top, about 1" deep, with buttered knife (this helps get the heat down inside).

Bake in 350 375 degree oven for 25 - 45 minutes or until golden brown. Check after 20 minutes and see how browned it is on top, cover with foil if needed to keep cooking the inside without burning the top.

Let cool for 10 minutes+ before slicing.

Not bad for a first foray! I might play a little more to see if I can get a slightly lighter bread, but this bread is a denser one anyway, and its good like this. So I'm pleased!

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~ Meegs