21
February

Gluten-free Irish Soda Bread by Carol Fenster

Written by Sandy. Posted in: Delicious Recipes À la Christine, Newsletter
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One of my dearest friends cooks, bakes, and grills like a professional chef.  She loves to chop vegetables, says things like “ramekins” and has her own tablecloth named after her—The Christine—for purchase at The Palate in Stockholm, WI:  http://www.thepalate.net/.  Preparing food has been her passion since before my husband and I met Christine and her husband, Mark, over 15 years ago.  It has been our good fortune to be the lucky recipients of many delicious meals and absolutely wonderful times in their home.  Since I am all about following our passion, this is my way of letting her have an outlet for hers.  Enjoy!

My friend, Christine, had mentioned she was thinking of Irish Soda Bread for this month.  So she’s the inspiration for my posting the following as a fill-in for her recipe.  I was given the honor of blogging about my experience cooking and baking from 100 Best Gluten-Free Recipes by Carol Fenster.  Both my husband and I are gluten-sensitive.  I was quite flattered when my friend, Mike Mitchelson, asked me to review the book and do a blog on my efforts.  http://bloatedbelly.typepad.com/the_bloated_belly/2010/12/for-the-love-of-dumplings.html

So this month’s recipe is from this wonderful book!  As a reminder and in keeping with the “little people theme this month, elemental spirits of the Earth can be invoked through crystals, herbs, salt and bread.

Irish Soda Bread

Makes 10 servings

Irish Soda bread is ideal for those who avoid yeast because it is leavened with baking soda and baking powder instead.  It makes great sandwiches, and it can be toasted for breakfast.

2 cups Carol’s Sorghum Blend (see below)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk or Homemade Buttermilk (page 29 in the book), thinned with
¼ cup water, well shaken, and at room temperature
¼ cut unsalted butter or buttery spread, at room temperature
½ cup dried currants
1 tablespoon caraway seeds, toasted

  1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Generously grease an 8 x 4-inch nonstick (gray, not black) loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sorghum blend, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt.  Add the egg, buttermilk, butter, currants, and caraway seeds.  With an electric mixer on low speed, mix just until thoroughly blended.  Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and smooth the top with a wet rubber spatula.  With a very sharp knife, cut a 1/8-inch-deep X on the top to allow the bread to expand as it rises.
  3. Bake until the top is deeply browned and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped, 55 to 60 minutes.  The internal temperature should reach 205 degrees Fahrenheit when an instant-read thermometer is inserted into the center of the loaf.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Remove the bread from the pan and cool completely on the wire rack.  Slice with an electric or serrated knife.

Carol’s Sorghum Blend
Makes 4 cups

1 ½ cups sorghum flour
1 ½ cups potato starch or cornstarch
1 cup tapioca flour

Whisk the ingredients together until well blended.  Store, tightly covered, in a dark, dry place for up to 3 months.  You may refrigerate or freeze the blend, but bring to room temperature before using.  You may double or triple the recipe.