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Savory Soda Bread

My wife is Irish, and she makes soda bread often.  Typically, she makes a sweet version without raisins, as no one in my family, except my wife, really likes them.  After watching an episode of the Great British Bake Off, I decided to make a savory soda bread.  Soda bread is a quick bread, which means it rises chemically with the use of baking powder and/or baking soda in lieu of yeast.  Because of that, you simply mix the ingredients, knead the dough, and bake.  Easy!  

Our Savory Soda Bread is adapted from my wife’s beat-up old paperback copy of Betty Crocker’s Cookbook, which is the 1986 6th Edition update to the 1969 classic.  As a side note, every recipe we have tried in this cookbook has worked, and that is saying something.  If you are curious, here is the 12th Edition 2016 update.

Ingredients

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4 tablespoons butter (3 tablespoons should be softened and the remaining 1 should be melted)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 cup of blue cheese stuffed olives, quartered (You really can add whatever ingredients you want.  We made another loaf, not pictured here, that had 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and 2 roasted jalapeno peppers)

Directions

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Pour the flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a mixing bowl.

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Cut 3 tablespoons of softened butter into the flour, baking soda, and baking powder until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.  (You can use a pastry blender for this, but my wife, being “old-school,” has always used two knifes.  With this method, you take a knife in each hand and break the butter up into small pieces by cutting the butter cross-wise several times.)

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Pour the buttermilk into the mixture.

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Add the olives.

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Using a spoon at first, stir the mixture until combined. Then, with your hands, knead the mixture until all of the ingredients are incorporated and the dough forms a ball.

Transfer the dough to a baking sheet.  (We always bake on parchment paper that we place on the baking sheet first.)

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Cut an “x” about 1/2 of an inch deep through the dough.  Why an “x?”  Irish tradition says that the sign of the cross will ward off the devil.  Practically, as the bread bakes, the “x” allows heat to get into the thickest part of the dough, and that allows the loaf to stretch as it rises and expands.

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Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and brush it over the top of the dough.  (If you don’t use all of it, that is okay.)

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Bake for 35 to 45 minutes.  (We baked our loaf for 40 minutes, turning it once after 20 minutes had passed.)

 

Blue Cheese Stuffed Olive Savory Soda Bread
Author: 
Recipe type: Baked Goods
 
My wife is Irish, and she makes soda bread often. Typically, she makes a sweet version without raisins, as no one in my family, except my wife, really likes them. After watching an episode of the Great British Bake Off, I decided to make a savory soda bread. Soda bread is a quick bread, which means it rises chemically with the use of baking powder and/or baking soda in lieu of yeast. Because of that, you simply mix the ingredients, knead the dough and bake. Our Blue Cheese Stuffed Olive Savory Soda Bread is adapted from my wife's beat up old paperback copy of the Betty Crocker Cookbook, which is the 1986 6th Edition update to the 1969 classic. As a side note, every recipe we have tried in this cookbook has worked, and that is saying something.
Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons butter (3 tablespoons should be softened and the remaining 1 should be melted)
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup butter milk
  • 1 cup of blue cheese stuffed olives, quartered
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Pour the flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a mixing bowl.
  3. Cut 3 tablespoons of softened butter into the flour, baking soda, and baking powder until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. (You can use a pastry blender for this, but my wife, being "old-school," has always used two knifes. With this method, you take a knife in each hand and break the butter up into small pieces by cutting the butter cross-wise several times.)
  4. Pour the buttermilk into the mixture and then add the olives. Using a spoon at first, stir the mixture until combined.
  5. Then, with your hands, knead the mixture until all of the ingredients are incorporated and the dough forms a ball.
  6. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet. (We always bake on parchment paper that we place on the baking sheet first.)
  7. Cut an X about ½ of an inch deep through the dough. Why an "x". Irish tradition is that the sign of the cross will ward off the devil. Practically, as the bread bakes, the "x" allow heat to get into the thickest part of the dough and let's the loaf stretch as it rises and expands.
  8. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and brush it over the top of the dough. (If you don't use all of it, that is okay.)
  9. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. (We baked our loaf for 40 minutes, turning it once after 20 minutes had passed.)
 

 

About Daddy

I am a husband and a father of two kids with whom I love to cook and eat. In this blog, I hope to share with you not only some of my, as well as my family’s, favorite recipes, but also some interesting things I have learned or done as a husband, father, and cook.

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