Friday, March 21, 2014

Sourdough Surprises: Maple Cinnamon Chip Soda Bread

(I apologize for being late, but my computer has been in repair!)

A few years ago, my aunt was visiting right around St. Patrick's Day and brought a homemade Irish Soda Bread. It gave me the idea: Maybe I could replace the buttermilk with sourdough starter. It's an idea that never came to fruition because of one simple fact: I don't particularly care for it.

Don't get me wrong – Irish Soda Bread is what it is: a crumbly chemically-leavened bread. But I have a massive sweet tooth, and there was just not enough of that in any sample I tried (something I just learned recently is that this is because traditional Irish Soda Bread does not include raisins and is actually served with soup). But I try my best to keep up with Sourdough Surprises. So, it was finally time to make a Sourdough soda bread.

The only sample recipe I could find was King Arthur Flour's Seeded Soda Bread. I wanted to try my best to make something sweeter. So I just used it as a guideline and made my own from there. With a bag of cinnamon chips, almost empty, begging to be used in my pantry, I thought they'd be the perfect mix in.

My recipe:
Maple Cinnamon Chip Sourdough Soda Bread
Adapted majorly from King Arthur Flour
Makes 1 loaf, about 8 servings

1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
Scant 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup ripe sourdough starter
2 tblsp melted buttermilk
1 1/2 tblsp real maple syrup
1/4 cup + 1 tblsp milk
1/3 cup cinnamon chips

1) Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment.
2) In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, Harvest Grains Blend, baking soda, and salt.
3) In a separate bowl (or in a measuring cup), whisk together the starter, butter, honey, and milk. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and stir to combine. The dough will be stiff; if it's too crumbly to squeeze together, add another tablespoon or two of milk.
4) Knead the dough a couple of times to make sure it's holding together. Shape into ball and flatten slightly on a baking sheet. Cut a 1/2” deep cross in the loaf.
5) Bake for about 25 minutes, until they're golden brown and a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the loaves from the oven, and brush their tops with melted butter, if desired.
I will say I enjoyed it more than typical Irish Soda Bread. It's still far from my favorite recipe. I will keep it in the Rolodex for the next time.

And now with my computer fixed, and a slower season at work...maybe I can get back to baking!
Check out our other Soda Breads!