It seems my blogging intentions have been waylaid by an insistent desire to be lazy about writing. There it is; I’ve been apathetic about writing for so long that thinking about it feels like yet another chore waiting to be done, but a quick look through past posts reminds me that I need to follow up on a few things that got pushed all the way to the back of the cupboard. Time to dig out and finish what I started.
Way back in March I wrote about baking Irish Soda Bread. It was good, but not great. So I experimented and researched and left my mother’s recipe behind. That recipe called for a lot more flour than any other I’ve seen, and instead of buttermilk she used regular milk. That got me a hot brick. The next time I used less flour, but still regular milk. Not quite so dense, but not what I wanted either. Finally, after learning why buttermilk is so important to Soda Bread I made another loaf using vinegar and milk (I didn’t want to buy a quart of buttermilk and have to throw most of it out because, umm, yuck). The bread was delicious and had the right texture and density.
This is what I learned:
- The acidity of buttermilk is necessary to activate the baking soda. Not adding that acidity will leave the bread dense.
- You can fake buttermilk by adding one teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar to room temperature milk and letting it sit for 15 minutes
- Fresh, hot bread is the perfect vehicle for loads of fresh, homemade butter.
- My jeans fit better if I don’t bake bread too often.
Okay, one follow-up post completed. Let’s see how well I do with the next one.