I want to be Irish.
For my entire life, people have asked me if my red hair and freckled cheeks come from Irish genes. Each time I sigh and sadly answer, ‘no’.
Just as some folks dream of tropical beach vacations, I dream of flying across the ocean to the rolling, green hills of Ireland. I want to visit a pub in the bustle of Dublin and photograph the pastures of their rural landscape. I watch movies like ‘Leap Year’ or ‘PS, I Love You’ more for the movies’ backdrops than their story lines.
Since I am not Irish and my plane tickets have yet to be bought I will instead make the most of the coming St. Patrick’s Day. Starting by baking this very easy Irish Soda Bread. And by easy I mean easy. Bread baking is a bit of a challenge for me and I pulled this one off without a hitch. It contains no yeast, the baking soda and yogurt create the rising action perfectly.
Irish Soda Bread
2 1/4 cups bread flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup wheat bran (or wheat germ)
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt (greek yogurt works too)