Thursday, March 14, 2013

Soda Bread Buns

St. Patrick’s Day is close so you are likely seeing many recipes for Irish Soda Bread. I have made Irish Soda Bread before, as part of Tuesdays with Dorie, but I wanted to try something different. We usually think of soda bread with raisins or currants, but that isn’t really authentic. I’m ok with not having 100% authentic. I figure everything I made is Americanized anyway!

This recipe is more traditionally American, but I don’t think that I have ever seen caraway seeds in a recipe for soda bread. I’m used to caraway seeds in rye bread, but this was a new idea. Otherwise, this bun recipe was what I was familiar with for soda bread: flour, wheat flour, currants. I made mine completely in a mixer, even though the original recipe had you cut in the butter by hand. I find that the mixer is fairly efficient, and it’s not as messy.

I made these buns to have with a corned beef and cabbage slow cooker dinner. Dinner didn’t turn out so well (how could vegetables cooking in a slow cooker for 9 hours still be hard?), but these buns are really lovely. The caraway seeds are…interesting. I think I would leave them out next time. It’s the wrong flavor to add to what is a fairly sweet roll. They are especially good with honey butter. You’ll want to bake and eat them within a fairly quick time frame. The ones fresh out of the oven were the best, an hour later they were still good but not quite as great.

Soda Bread Buns
3 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
1-1/4 cups flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup buttermilk, more for brushing
1 egg
2/3 cup dried currants
1-1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat.

In a large mixer bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Add the cubes of cold butter, and mix until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and egg. Add the buttermilk mixture to the mixer bowl and mix just until incorporated. The dough with be wet and a bit shaggy. Stir in the currants and caraway seeds (if you’re using them).

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a 1-inch thick round. Cut into 8 wedges and then shape each wedge into a ball. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Cut a small “x” in the top of each bun and then brush with a little milk.

Bake 20-24 minutes, until the buns are golden brown. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe from The New York Times

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