I’ll admit it: my apartment is a mess, I haven’t cooked in days (boiling angel hair pasta and then adding sun dried tomatoes and parmesan cheese doesn’t count…does it?) and I have been tucked into bed by 7 pm five out of the last seven nights. So when I was thinking about what to eat for dinner Friday night, imagine my surprise when the urge to actually do a bit of baking hit me. Mind you, I didn’t want to do anything elaborate…and I didn’t want to go to the grocery store (did I mention I haven’t done any grocery shopping in almost two weeks), so I had to think of something that didn’t require a lot of butter…or sugar…or chocolate…or whole milk. That’s when I remembered an Irish soda bread Food Rockzman had made for a St. Patrick’s Day dinner I was lucky enough to attend. He had mentioned how easy it was to make, so I took a gander at the recipe…and decided I had to find something even easier.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved FRM’s bread (and so did everyone in my office the next day), but there were ingredients on the list I didn’t have…and I soooo wasn’t going to the Giant. I vaguely recalled reading an article about the merits of a truly traditional Irish soda bread and the “Americanization” of Irish soda bread, so I googled “traditional Irish soda bread” and up popped a very, very, very simple recipe: four ingredients, one bowl and minimal work! Not only that, it sounded like a good, rustic bread that would go great with what I had in mind for my dinner: a very lazy version of coconut beans and rice (and by lazy, I mean the following: rice, light coconut milk and drained red beans in my rice cooker…I told you it was lazy).
The bread (for the recipe, click the link above) was in fact very easy to make. As the dough formed, I noticed how silky and elastic it looked. Oh, this was a great dough (and we all know my love of pretty dough)…and it was super easy (did I already mention that?)! And when the bread began to bake, the amazing smells filled my little apartment…and it made me feel a lot better.
Food has a way of comforting the soul that is unlike anything else in the world. Tucking into this great bread (slathered with fresh butter and blackberry preserves from my CSA) after a very emotional few weeks was a great salve for my still aching heart. And since it was very easy to make (seriously, have I not already mentioned the ease of this bread), it didn’t require too much of my very tired body. So this will definitely go down as a great comfort food that is easy to make (just in case you were wondering about the difficulty level of this bread).
As a side note, I want to thank all of you for your words of sympathy and encouragement. I haven’t met a majority of you, but your thoughts and words really made a difference. So for that, I thank you deeply…and the Diva would have definitely approved.
4 responses to “Traditional Irish Soda Bread…And a Lazy Man’s Coconut Beans & Rice”
I had never tried soda bread before, but this year (my first year being married and having an Irish last name) I felt really compelled to make the complete Irish meal for St. Patty’s Day. Of course, I made soda bread and absolutely loved it. Your recipe looks simple and delicious. 🙂
I hope you continue to feel better.
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I’m so glad you’re back! This bread looks like a keeper!
i think you might’ve just convinced me to try my hand at bread-baking. i love irish soda bread – i like the texture of yours!
coconut beans and rice sounds so exotic. never had it but i’ll keep a look out for them beans. x