The Hot Handle

A blog interspersed with occasional gluten free recipes.

Please note: If you have a family member who requires a gluten free diet, be sure to use a cast iron skillet that has never previously touched gluten....and if it has, scrub it all down completely and re-season, to be on the safe side.

Looking for information on Celiac Disease? There are many good sites, but here is one to get started with:

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Irish Soda Bread

Signs of Spring are in my yard!

We had friends over last night for a St. Patrick's Day dinner of Corned Beef and Cabbage (see this page). 

One of our friends cannot consume gluten, but that's easy in my house! 

For dessert, I made these delicious Almond Cookies (see this page).  I doubled the recipe here so that I could mail some to our son in ABQ, but my little food processor couldn't handle it.  Note to self:  Use a regular stand mixer for doubling the cookie recipe!

I haven't really done a lot of gluten free bread baking, so I wasn't too sure about making my own GF Irish Soda Bread.  (I'm pretty sure that other years I have purchased it from my local GF bakery, "Dee's One Smart Cookie.")  But this year I tried making it myself, and darn, it was great!

First, I pre-heated the oven to 375.

I took out my 8" cast iron skillet and sprayed it with cooking spray.

I took
1/2 cup of raisins
and poured hot (boiling) water over it, letting it sit for 5-10 minutes or so, then draining them.  This plumped up the raisins.  I was hoping this would help to make a nice, moist loaf.  Considering the good results I had, I won't skip this step next time!

In the stand mixer, I put in the following ingredients, in this order, while the mixer churned at its lowest level:

2 cups of Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Baking Flour,
3 Tbs sugar,
1 tsp baking soda,
1 tsp baking powder,
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum,
4 Tbs SACO Cultured Buttermilk Blend
(it's a powered buttermilk that you can find in the baking aisle),
1 tsp caraway seeds, and
1 tsp salt.

I added -
4 Tbs softened butter, and let it run until it's blended with the flour mixture, into little pieces.

Then I tossed in -
1 egg,
1 cup water, and
the soaked raisins.

I mixed it up until blended, then plopped the mixture into the prepared skillet. 
I smoothed the top with wet fingers, then
cut an "X" into the top, as can be seen above.

I baked this for 45 minutes, turning the oven down to 350 after about 25 minutes. 
When I took it out and tested it, I found that an instant-read thermometer clocked it at 190.
The color was pretty dark,
but the loaf had that nice hollow "thump" sound when I rapped on the bottom.
I let it cool on a wire rack.

When I cut it just before dinner, I was delighted to see it looking like this:

My guest loved it so much that I sent a few slices home with her. 

Happy St. Patrick's Day,
Happy Spring!