Irish Soda Bread

The holiday season has officially ended for me.

My favorite REAL holiday, that is. 

Anyone who knows me knows that the Super Bowl is a holiday to me, and constitutes as my favorite holiday of all time.  But, St. Patrick’s Day, being a faithful Irish girl, is a close second.

There are a few recipes I’ve been wanting to get to that make me think of Irish food, and this is one of them.

I’ve wanted to try Irish Soda bread for a while now.  I love making quick breads because I’m a huge carb-fiend who can’t wait for yeast breads to rise and rise, and then rise some more.

Now, at the risk of sounding completely ridiculous, I have to admit that I didn’t know what exactly the ‘soda’ meant in Irish Soda bread.  To be honest, I thought Ireland had completely different ideas about what soda was, and I fretted over the idea of trying to find Irish Soda.  I know, I’m kind of an airhead sometimes.  Imagine my relief when I found out I had all the ingredients I would need right in my pantry!

This bread is dense and moist and slightly sweet.  For my first foray into Irish Soda bread making, I would say I was very successful!

Irish Soda Bread

4 cups flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tbsp. baking soda

1 cup milk

1/2 cup melted butter

1 egg

Preheat oven 350F.

Mix all of the ingredients together, starting with the dry and ending with wet ingredients, in a bowl until a dough forms.  You may need a little extra flour to keep the dough from sticking to your hands. 

Form a round with the dough and place on a greased cookie sheet.  Use a knife to score an ‘X’ in the top of the dough.

Bake for 1 hour.

Cut into slices and serve hot.

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Orange Beer Bread

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Ahhh, vitamin C.

My adventures in making a good beer bread and my new found interest in food photography led me to envision what a perfect picture of beer could be.  That picture turned out to be a tall glass with a slice of orange on the rim.

Personally, I’ve never been a huge fan of the beers that recommended any orange garnish.  I’m not a big drinker anyway, but when I do drink beer, it’s usually a light lager.  Anything beyond that tends to have too much flavor or bitterness for me.    Given that I was making beer bread, I figured this was the perfect time for me to experiment with beers I don’t typically drink.

On a similar note, I don’t typically keep a lot of citrus fruits in the house.  I’m just not a huge fan of them because they very often cause irritation to the mouth and tongue that can last up to a couple days at a time for me.  My husband, however, is a huge fan of clementines and we always have them in the house for him to snack on.   These mini fruits are actually part of the mandarin orange family according to a very brief internet search I did.  And since I didn’t want to buy a dozen large oranges that would ultimately go bad, I decided to use these clementines in place of a normal orange for this recipe

Like my Lime Beer Bread, I used the zest of the orange as well as the juice to help accentuate the muted orange flavor in the beer.  The result is a sweet version of beer bread with a fruity kick.  This was so good, I even had this for breakfast in place of my normal toast!

 

 

 

Orange Beer Bread

3 cups flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 12oz. bottle beer
Juice of 1 orange                                            Zest of 1 orange                                                   3 tbsp softened butter

Preheat oven 350F.

In a large mixer, combine all of the ingredients except the butter, adding the beer last to the mixture.

Pour the mixture into a greased loaf pan.

Bake for 45 minutes.

Melt the 3 tbsp of butter and pour over the loaf.  Return to oven for another 10-15 minutes.

Let cool.

Serve warm, ideally with butter.

Lime Beer Bread

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This is giving me tropical feels.

Despite being painfully aware that I’m living in an almost arctic climate in the middle of winter, this beer with lime flavor is transporting my brain to a vacation destination somewhere south of Florida.

Around this time of year, when I’m ready for the thaw of spring, I get restless for a warm day with sun and a cold drink.  Maybe a margarita with a salted rim.  Or some drink that can be slurped out of a hand-carved coconut.  As much as I hate actually going to the beach (pasty white girl problems), I would love to be in some indirect sunlight with SPF 100 on right now.

For now, I’ll have to settle for zesting up my food and drinks with a little lime for that vacation feel.  Since I love to have a beer with a slice of lime, it seemed only natural to flavor a loaf of beer bread with lime and my favorite lime-flavored beer.  The beer I used was a popular light lager with a lime variety, but several other beers have lime versions you could use.  In lieu of the softened butter I use in my Classic Beer Bread recipe, I substituted with the juice of one lime because the lime in the beer is not super forward.  This came out to just under one tablespoon of juice, so take that into consideration if you decide to forgo real limes for bottled lime juice.

This easy recipe will have you feeling like it’s beach season all winter long!

 

Lime Beer Bread

3 cups flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 12oz. bottle beer
Juice of 1 lime                                              Zest of 1 lime                                                    3 tbsp softened butter

Preheat oven 350F.

In a large mixer, combine all of the ingredients except the butter, adding the beer last to the mixture.

Pour the mixture into a greased loaf pan.

Bake for 45 minutes.

Melt the 3 tbsp of butter and pour over the loaf.  Return to oven for another 10-15 minutes.

Let cool.

Serve warm, ideally with butter.

Hard Apple Cider “Beer Bread”

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I can’t leave anything alone.

After making my Classic Beer Bread, I decided to play around with variations.  Since beer brewing has exploded in the last several years to include tons of different types and flavors, it’s actually pretty easy to come up with different types of beer bread because there are so many bases to choose from.

Since I love anything sweet, I knew I wanted to make a sweetened version of beer bread by using a hard cider.  The apple flavor naturally lead to the inclusion of cinnamon in this recipe because apples = cinnamon in my life.

I considered adding apples to the recipe but worried that it might change the overall texture of the bread or make it mushy.  I think the hard apple cider provides a subtle, but adequate apple flavor.  It also sweetens this bread without being overly sweet.

This is a really neat variation to beer bread that gives you the same texture of a classic bread with a sweet, fruity flavor.  For people that don’t like the beer flavor, this is a great alternative!

 

 

Hard Apple Cider “Beer Bread”

3 cups flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 12oz. hard apple cider                                1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 tbsp softened butter, divided

 

Preheat oven 350F.

In a large mixer, combine all of the ingredients except 3 tbsp of the butter, adding the cider last to the mixture.

Pour the mixture into a greased loaf pan.

Bake for 45 minutes.

Melt the 3 tbsp of butter and pour over the loaf.  Return to oven for another 10-15 minutes.

Let cool.

Serve warm, ideally with butter.

Classic Beer Bread

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How many times have you been out to a party or restaurant and eaten something so intensely wonderful that you need to run home and make it yourself the same night just to ensure that it is possible to recreate from scratch?

Maybe that doesn’t happen to you as much as it does to me, but I tend to be mildly over-excitable about a lot of things, including food.

Recently, that obsession has included beer bread.  After attending one of those home parties where you sample and subsequently buy wayyyy overpriced boxed mixes, I set to work on making my own string of deliciously unique quick breads made with beer and hard cider.  Plus, I have to admit that since I started my website, I have started to fall out of love with these “independent consulting” food parties (except for the complimentary and refillable wine, obviously) and in love with making my own copycat recipes at home.

Thus, you have beer bread.

And what glorious beer bread it is!

What makes this even better is coming up with some slight variations that can change up your normal beer bread routine.  Those recipes will be posting soon!

 

 

Classic Beer Bread

3 cups flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 12oz. bottle beer
4 tbsp softened butter, divided

Preheat oven 350F.

In a large mixer, combine all of the ingredients except 3 tbsp of the butter, adding the beer last to the mixture.

Pour the mixture into a greased loaf pan.

Bake for 45 minutes.

Melt the 3 tbsp of butter and pour over the loaf.  Return to oven for another 10-15 minutes.

Let cool.

Serve warm, ideally with butter.