If you’ve been reading my posts for a while, you know I consider my mother-in-law, Wini Goldberg Costigan to be my culinary mentor. As a young child, I found my love of cooking and baking at my grandmother Ida’s side in her kitchen. How I loved helping her make those sugar cookies and my favorite, her flueden cake – but I was small, just 4 or 5 years old, and she belonged to the no-recipe generation. Wini, on the other hand, followed the recipes that she’d handwritten onto index cards. All of her baked goods were unbelievably good. Thanks to my daughter, Tracy, I have some of Wini’s recipe cards.
I’ve already written about veganizing Wini’s Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake, a recipe I found on one of her cards. I do remember the Brown Bread Wini baked in a coffee can, as well as her Irish Soda Bread. With St. Patrick’s Day coming, I decided to make the Soda Bread. All I had to do was replace an egg (I halved the recipe) make vegan buttermilk and replace the honey. Then I had to try to decipher the scant instructions. Original soda bread has four basic ingredients: flour, buttermilk, baking soda, and salt, and it is not limited to Ireland. These breads are a kind of a quick bread. Moving beyond the basic elements, they can be flavored in any number of ways. Today, the breads often contain additional ingredients like sugar, butter, eggs, raisins or currants, and caraway seeds to enhance the flavor and texture of the bread. The crust is crisp, the inside, dense and chewy.
There was no description of the dough on the card for me to go by, but most recipes say the dough is soft and sticky. Mine was that, and would not shape into a ball to put into a baking sheet, but the card said to put the dough into a bowl and bake. Instead of a bowl, I baked the bread in a cake pan, and I made the traditional X cut in the top towards the end of baking—it was too soft to slash earlier. I’d figured that I’d use less liquid the next time, and/or knead in more flour, but I really liked this result, so I’m sticking with it. I didn’t add the caraway seeds
For St. Patrick’s Day, I give you my vegan version of Wini’s Irish Soda Bread and a tidbit from an Irish Vegan Baking Boot Camp student, Mary. Did you know that an Irish tablespoon is the same quantity as an American tablespoon plus a teaspoon. Use U.S. measures here!
The next Esssential Vegan Desserts Course starts April 6, 2017! See the syllabus, FAQ, recipes and videos here: http://tinyurl.com/RouxbeVeganPastry
Join me next week, Wednesday March 15, 1pm PST for a free Live Event at Rouxbe. Register here.