Sweet And Crumby

Baking, a Love Story


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A Tale of Two Irish Soda Breads (GF and AP Flour versions)

“Challenge Accepted!”, in true Barney style, was my answer when my mom asked me to bring a GF version of my semi-famous Irish Soda Bread to her St. Patrick’s Day Themed Sunday Dinner last year.

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If you have not had the pleasure of being introduced to Irish Soda Bread, then you are a little bit deprived. It reminds me of a giant scone; a little bit crumbly, a little bit sweet, and if it’s done just right then it is still moist and tender.

Recreating my tried and true favorites to be GF is fairly nerve racking for me. Although the substitution of my homemade GF flour blend and addition of either Xanthan Gum or Guar Gum has been full proof thus far for any recipe I’ve converted, every time I try a new one, I am found holding my breath and absolutely pinching a bite off the piping hot product the second it is out of the oven.

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Well this GF Irish Soda Bread is a total winner. I would never even be able to taste the difference in a blind taste. Think Pepsi and Coke taste tests in the 70’s when amazed victims were choosing Pepsi over Coke. I think this bread taste test would turn out quite positive. The crumb is tender and soft and the flavor is lightly sweet and tart (from the buttermilk) and a burst of plump raisins fills your mouth with delight.

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I have also included an iPhone snap of my original Irish Soda Bread made with All Purpose flour to please GF and non GF eaters alike. Have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Irish Soda Breads Two Ways (GF and All Purpose Flour)

GF Irish Soda Bread
4 c. GF Flour Blend (see GF tab for the recipe for my Gluten Free Flour Blend 1)
4 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
3/4 t. guar gum or xanthan gum
1/2 c. granulated sugar
3/4 t. salt
1/2 c. of cold butter, cut in small cubes
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
1 egg
1 1/2 c. of raisins or currants (1/2 of both!)

All Purpose Flour Version
4 c.All Purpose Flour
4 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 c. granulated sugar
3/4 t. salt
1/2 c. of cold butter, cut in small cubes
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
1 egg
1 1/2 c. of raisins or currants (1/2 of both!)

To make the bread: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour through salt. Put the small cubes of butter into the bowl and mix WITH YOUR HANDS, crumbling the butter cubes as you mix. This is essential and makes for a very tender crumb with pockets of butter which create air pockets and thus makes your bread light and fluffy rather than dense. Leave your butter pea sized for optimal air pockets.

In a liquid measuring cup, pour in your buttermilk and add the egg. Beat together before adding it to the dry mixture. Stir the liquid into the dry ingredients. With the GF version, you can stir vigorously, making sure to adequately dissipate the flour. If you are making the AP flour version DO NOT MIX VIGOROUSLY or your bread will be tough. Simply stir it gently with a rubber scraper. Add the raisins and or currants and stir them in.

Knead your bread ten times, either in the bowl if big enough (keeps mess down) or on a floured pastry board. Form into a round dome and gently take a butter knife and make a vertical and horizontal cut across the top of the bread (only about 1/2 inch into the dough).

Bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour depending on your oven. The bread should turn a nice golden brown and a toothpick should come out clean when you prick it in the middle of the bread.


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Bait and Switch Delectable Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancakes

I am honest to a fault. Seriously to a fault. I always bring baked goods and then instantly blurt out ANYTHING minuscule that went awry, as if someone slipped truth serum into my coffee. My most recent admission was,..”I got wrapped up in watching re-runs of Chuck and may have left these muffins in a stitch too long.”

The pictures you see here, unfortunately, are from my last year’s post of my AP Flour pumpkin pancakes. My problem was that I kept making my delicious, fabulously soft, not gritty and very fluffy GF pumpkin pancakes and running out of time to take pictures. Life’s a bit of a bumpy ride for the moment at best (more like an unpaved road in a construction zone. See? Honest to a fault).

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A Parade of Easter Sweets

Whether you have big plans, little plans or no plans, you can whip up one of these spring-y sweets to help celebrate the day. I have rated these recipes based on difficulty and time needed so you can choose the one that fits into your life.

Braided Bread Stuffed with Lemon Curd. This soft, delicate, flaky filled bread is so tangy and sweet. It is really a perfectly beautiful bread to BRING to a brunch, one that you are not hosting and you are only responsible for ONE THING. Because this one is a solid 9/10  in difficulty level (maybe a 10…let’s not mince words) and is totally worth it if you have the time and energy.

Braided Sweet Bread

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Stumble Out of Bed Chocolate Chip Espresso Muffins {GF and AP Versions}

Do you have one eye open most mornings, trip over the dog as you shuffle to the kitchen and barely pour your waiting pre-programmed cup of coffee into your mug? Or, if you are like one of my best friends, she can’t even get that far into her morning without a pinch hitter. Her hubby brings her a first cup of the day in bed before she can even attempt to face her day. Yeah, there are men like that, or at least men who are smart enough to know what’s good for them. ;)

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A Tale of Two Irish Soda Breads (GF and AP Flour versions)

“Challenge Accepted!”, in true Barney style, was my answer when my mom asked me to bring a GF version of my semi-famous Irish Soda Bread to her St. Patrick’s Day Themed Sunday Dinner last night.

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These Lavender Scones Were Brought to You By Being Totally Prepared for an EBS (Emergency Baking Situation)

These pictures are lascivious. I know. How could I photograph these irresistible sweet and floral lavender scones with the blue Pacific peeking from behind and not invite you to stay? It seems rather rude to taunt you like this, but I was never in the running for the Ms. Manners’ title anyway so I am not terribly concerned.

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Start Valentine’s Day on a High Note With Red Velvet Pancakes

Can you think of a better way to start your Valentine’s Day morning than with rich, soft, chocolaty Red Velvet Pancakes?!  I can’t either.  They even get served with a luscious, cream cheese dipping sauce.  Pretty sweet, right?— pun totally intended…that’s just how I roll.

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