Tag Archives: quick bread

Irish Soda Bread

I came across this recipe on one of the blogs I read, Mommie Cooks. She also happens to be a Tasty Kitchen member, and her recipe box is full of delicious and quick things to make. I love a good quickbread recipe, and the fact that this one takes only about 5 minutes to throw together is a huge plus. All the magic happens in the oven, with hardly any effort on your part. And who doesn’t love a loaf of freshly baked bread? It just screams ‘home’ to me. I made this bread for our Bible study group, and I could almost swear more bread was eaten than the main dish that I prepared to go with it.


(Serves 6)

4 ¾ cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 tsp caraway seeds

3 TBS honey

1 egg

1 ½ cups buttermilk

3 TBS butter, melted

Only 4 dry ingredients need to be assembled: flour, salt, baking soda, and caraway seeds.

Mix the dry ingredients together.

I love the flavor that the caraway seeds give this bread. They are nice and strong, so even though the recipe only calls for a teaspoon, that’s exactly the right amount.

And I love, love, love my new flour canister. It’s from WalMart.

It makes the flour-measuring experience so much cleaner than when I measured it straight out of the paper bag and flour poofed all over my countertops, floor, and clothing.

Now gather the remaining ingredients:

No, that’s not a mug of tea or coffee–it’s the melted butter. And don’t tempt me to drink it straight outta that mug, because I won’t!

Unless it’s a double-dog dare.

I’ve never been double-dog-dared before, so I have no idea what would happen were I confronted with a choice. Swallow my pride . . . or drink the butter. Humble myself . . . or drink the golden greasy stuff.

Ah, the mental dilemmas that rage in my mind throughout the day.

Add the egg and honey. . .

. . . pour in the buttermilk (I never have buttermilk on hand, so I used a handy substitution: 2% milk mixed with 1 1/2 TBS of lemon juice) . . .

. . . and stir everything around until the dough is just starting to come together (about 1 minute).

Add in the melted butter . . .

. . . and knead very briefly on a floured countertop, just until the dough holds its shape.

Make sure not to overknead! This step only took me (literally) 15 seconds.

Form a ball, and cut two slits in the top of the ball in the shape of a cross.

Put the dough on an ungreased baking sheet and bake at 350 F for 50-60 minutes.

When you remove it from the oven, test the bread with a toothpick in its thickest part to make sure it’s done.

If the toothpick comes out sticky or has a little dough on it, put the bread back in the oven for another 5-7 minutes and then probe its depths again.

I didn’t test my bread very carefully, so upon cutting it open I encountered a large lump of uncooked dough in the middle. Mercifully, I just popped it back in the oven and all was well–thank heavens for low-maintenance baking recipes such as this one.

Let it cool for a few minutes before cutting and serving.

Slather with butter, if desired.

I desire.

Would you look at that beautiful crust?

I need to put this on the menu again asap.

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Poppy Seed Bread

There’s just something about poppy seed bread (okay–and banana bread, pumpkin bread, zucchini bread–the whole family!): it feels just all too right to eat a slab or two for breakfast, despite the fact that these quickbreads are cake’s first cousins. Maybe even its stepsisters. If you enjoy sweets in the morning with your coffee, whip up a batch! I ate it for breakfast every single day last week. As long as pouring 50 gallons of oil and sugar into the batter doesn’t turn you off, this recipe (from the lovely redhead Bridget over at Bake at 350) is a real winner!


1 1/2 cups milk

3 eggs

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 tsp almond extract

1 cup + 2 TBS vegetable oil

2 1/2 cups sugar

3 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 1/2 TBS poppy seeds

First, preheat the oven to 350 F. Grab ahold of two 9×5 inch loaf pans and grease them up, sides and bottom. You can do this with butter, or with good old baking spray.

Can you tell I chose baking spray? (I can just feel my organic friends shivering in horror)

It was about this time I realized we were out of milk. With the loaf pans already sprayed and the ingredients already assembled and my camera settings toyed with, I couldn’t just abort the effort. I contemplated doing a late night run to the grocery store–but that sounded massively unappealing. Thankfully my roving eyes spotted a lone can of evaporated milk, and a quick Google search told me that I can substitute evaporated milk for regular milk in baking as long as I do 1 part milk, 2 parts water.

I exhaled with relief. Thank you, Google. Thank you, internet. Having to change back out of my PJ’s and face a dark and cold Chicago night might have sent me over the edge.

Using a mixer on low speed, mix together the milk, eggs, vanilla, almond extract, and vegetable oil.

It looks like a freaky alien experiment.

I should mention that if you’re not a huge fan of almond extract (I’m not) you shouldn’t worry one bit. I can’t even tell it’s there in the finished product, but I’m sure it adds a little something something that shouldn’t be skipped. Bridget said to use it. And I trust Bridget.

Okay, looking slightly better . . .

Add in the sugar . . .

. . . the flour . . .

. . . the baking powder and salt . . .

. . . and beat on a higher speed for about 2 minutes.

Please forgive the whacko focus in these pictures. It will help you learn patience. Forgiveness. Mercy. Yep, I’m just here to cultivate your virtues through my under par photography.

Aw, you don’t have to thank me–I’m always glad to contribute.

Measure out those poppy seeds:

Stir them into the batter, and voilà!

Look at this gloriously thick batter.

Hey, it’s eating my mixer attachment!

I’m sinking! I’m sinking!

Heh heh.

Now! Pour the batter into the two loaf pans.

I’m entranced by the thick, ribbony strands.

Looks like we’re ready to let the heat of the oven finish this here jyarb.

Jyarb = job. Yes, I talk like that on a regular basis. I find funkifying my accent a highly amusing endeavor.

Bake the loaves for 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. For some reason mine took more like an hour and a half. Maybe my oven was having a freaky evening, or maybe my shenanigans with evaporated milk changed things up too much. I’ll never know . . . until I make it again!

Use the time of bakination to contemplate the state of your kitchen.

I’m thinking of calling my kitchen manager and registering a complaint with the state of Illinois.

Then again, I hate being on hold. Might as well take care of these myself instead of waiting for the Secretary of State to get on the line.

So put on a little music, do a little washa-washin’, and before you know it these little golden delights will pop out:

The one on the left looks like a Marsha. The one on the right, we’ll call ‘Milfred.’

When you take them out of the oven, let the loaves rest for 10 minutes before removing the bread to a cooling rack. If I had waited, this probably wouldn’t have happened:

There went Marsha! Maybe it was a lack of generosity with the baking spray. In any case, it gave us a great shot of the tender interior of this bread.

And I guess it doesn’t matter anymore, since I’ve eaten it all regardless.

It’s a delightful bread–the crust is sugary and crunchy and the inside is sugary and tender. One would hope, with 2 1/2 cups sugar–and one would not be disappointed.

Let’s take things to a new level.

Need I expound on the wonders of melting butter over freshly baked bread?

I need not.

This picture says it all for me.

I’m told you can also wrap the bread in heavy-duty aluminum foil and freeze it. Brillante.

More quickbreads will definitely be in my future. Hope everyone is having a lovely Tuesday morning!

Click here for printer-friendly version: Poppy Seed Bread