March 20, 2008

Sarah: 2008 Cooking Adventure, Week 12

For a while when I was around 12 years old, my dad became interested in baking bread. He even purchased a Breadmaker so that we could come home from church to freshly baked bread. He would get excited about the different kinds of mixes formulated especially for the breadmaker, and was always anxious to try his latest purchase. One time he even tried his hand at making bread from scratch, selecting a recipe for Irish Soda Bread.

As the less culinary half of the dynamic duo that is my parents, Dad knew this was an ambitious undertaking. When the small loaf emerged from the oven, my father's pride filled the kitchen and mingled with the aroma of freshly baked bread. He pried the loaf from its pan and sliced into his creation, eager to taste the fruits of his labors.

I watched my dad's face for a reaction as he chewed. And chewed. And chewed. Hmm. We looked back at the loaf sitting on the kitchen counter. I suppose it did look rather... dense. My brother entered the room, no doubt lured by the smell of Dad's latest endeavor. He asked us if the bread was good. Dad responded "Might I suggest a very thin slice."

It was with this culinary pedigree that I attempted my own loaf of Irish Soda Bread in honor of St. Patrick's Day.

It yielded a much smaller loaf than I'd imagined, but seeing as half of it is still sitting on the kitchen counter, I'd say that it was plenty big enough to taste.

I like that Irish Soda Bread is so fast to make. With only a few ingredients (but plenty of variations online, if you want to get crazy), it's quick to mix together and doesn't have to be kneaded or left to rise for several hours. After a few days, it is a little dry, dense, and boring, but if you eat it fresh from the oven, the bread is dense and biscuit-y and tastes great with butter and jam.

Especially Blake and Lisa's delicious raspberry jam that I keep using without asking permission. Mmm. Sorry guys.

I'll add the recipe and links when I find where I wrote it all down. Sorry!

Posted by sarah at March 20, 2008 12:03 AM

My dad had a bread machine too when I was around the same age. Maybe that was the trend back then or maybe we were just meant to be friends. We still have that machine. I should see if it works and make some bread.

Posted by: Marci on March 20, 2008 03:26 PM

Hee. I think it means they were popular AND we were meant to be friends. Did yours also make loaves that would rise until one end was all huge and the loaf was weirdly lop-sided as a result?

Posted by: sarah on March 20, 2008 03:31 PM

Yes mine did. Also it always had these weird overcooked parts where the kneading paddle and this pin thing (which I stil dont know the purpose for it is) sat. Its decided Im making bread this weekend.

Posted by: Marci on March 20, 2008 03:36 PM

So your sandwiches all had holes in the middle too? I feel so much closer to you. That bread now sounds really good.

Posted by: sarah on March 20, 2008 03:37 PM

The only reason that half of the bread is still sitting on the counter is that I didn't want to hog ALL of it when I didn't even make it! It is tasty!

Posted by: lisa on March 20, 2008 04:45 PM

You guys are all so adorable. And look at you Sarah. You have come along way with cooking. I love homemade bread. My mother and I(well really her) would make 13 loaves(that's what the recipe made)every month or so. So great!

Posted by: Jeremy on March 21, 2008 09:36 AM
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