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Mar 16, 2014

Soda Bread with Currants


St. Patrick's Day is tomorrow, and my favorite way to celebrate any occasion is through food. Food is the ultimate way to connect yourself to cultures outside of your own, and Ireland is one country I'd love to know more about. With its limited knowledge my mind's Ireland is all foggy, wet rolling green hills, mugs of dark beer, warm faces and rustic food.

My family's lack of Irish genealogy didn't deter the occasional presence of soda bread in our home. My mother loves soda bread, and I think of her every time I have it. I owe a lot of my cultural food knowledge to her passion for other customs, and her insistence that I try new things. It's hard to believe that there was ever a time in my life where it was a struggle to try new food!

I understand that traditional soda bread comprises of only four ingredients and contains no fruit, but my own memories include fruit. This soda bread may not be the most traditional, but it will always transport me to my mind's version of Ireland.

Be forewarned - the veganizing of this recipe required quite a few bowls.

Soda Bread with Currants
Adapted by Ina Garten's Recipe for Irish Soda Bread
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon flax meal
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for currants
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons cold Earth Balance (or other vegan margarine)
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
1. Preheat your oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a mixing bowl combine the non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar. Set aside.
3. In a small bowl whisk together the flax meal and water. Set aside.
4. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Cut in the Earth Balance with your fingers or a pastry cutter. Set aside.
5. With a fork combine the milk mixture, flax seed mixture, and orange zest until completely combined. Add this mixture to the flour mixture and stir until completely incorporated.
6. Combine the currants with a little bit of flour and mix them into the dough. The whole thing will be very very wet.
7. Pour the dough onto a heavily floured surface and knead it into a rustically round loaf. Transfer the loaf to your baking sheet and slice an X on top.
8. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes until the loaf is browned on top and sounds hollow when tapped. Let it cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing. This wait will seem impossible, but you can do it.