The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hamelman's Irish Soda Bread

xaipete's picture
xaipete

Hamelman's Irish Soda Bread

St. Patrick's day is coming up soon and I was thinking of making Hamelman's Irish Soda Bread. I ordered some wholemeal wheat from King Arthur's, but noticed that the recipe calls for "wheat flakes". Anybody have an opinion on this bread? And, what are/is "wheat flakes"?


--Pamela

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Hi,  I was thinking of trying the recipe too...being born in Ireland and having about 40+ Irish relatives here in the states...we all make Irish soda bread...but I have to admit...my mum and her family always just made a white flour version...with sometimes a little wheat flour added...probably because the real flours used were in Ireland...I was looking at the KA wholemeal and it does sound very nice...Im thinking by wheat flakes...maybe they mean wheat bran?  We just would always make up a quick hot batch of soda/bannock or farls to have with a cup of tea and to offer company...they are so simple and fast to make fresh and warm...leftover was kept for bacon sandwiches or toast!  It was never meant to sit around for long!  The buttermilk makes it delicious and it was never lacking for flavor! 


Sylvia

xaipete's picture
xaipete

I also wondered if "wheat flakes" meant bran, but why not just say "bran, ground" then? I doubt he means "Wheaties"! Anyway, I'm hoping someone on this forum knows the meaning of the term.


--Pamela

mcs's picture
mcs

Pamela,
They look like oatmeal but are made from rolled wheat instead.  Here's the Bob's Red Mill version.


-Mark

xaipete's picture
xaipete

Hey, Mark, thanks a lot. I was pretty sure Hamelman did mean "Wheaties" or some generic whole grain cereal.


--Pamela

mcs's picture
mcs

Are you cutting on whole grain cereals?  Because you know they're very healthy just like everything I eat.


-Mark

xaipete's picture
xaipete

my lips are sealed on the eating topic!


--Pamela

mcs's picture
mcs

I was checking out the Hamelman recipe yesterday actually, plus the whole chapter on soda breads in the Ballymaloe book, and wondering who here has tried them and their various opinions.  According to the write-up in the Hamelman book, his recipe sounds pretty authentic, although Tim Allen (Ballymaloe, not the tool guy) offers some great suggestions too. 


-Mark


http://TheBackHomeBakery.com

xaipete's picture
xaipete

Mark, I'm going to try Hamelman's as soon as my flour comes from KA. I'll let everyone know how it comes out. But if others have tried Hamelman's or other recipes, I'd love to know what they think.


--Pamela

xaipete's picture
xaipete

I just finished reading Hamelman's recipe for Irish Soda Bread and the notes in the columns. He talks about "true buttermilk" vs. what-we-get-in-the-store today and it got me thinking, so I did a little research. True buttermilk is the stuff leftover after cream is made into butter. While I don't make butter often, I have made it a number of times by processing heavy cream in my food processor and straining off the liquid (the liquid buttermilk, I guess). A google turned up an interesting site.


http://blog.cooklikeyourgrandmother.com/2008/06/how-to-make-cultured-butter-and.html


I'm thinking about giving it a try and using it in Hamelman's recipe. Any comments? Would homemade buttermilk work in his recipe? Does anyone have contact with him to ask this question?


--Pamela

rryan's picture
rryan

--Pamela


I make cultured butter on a regular basis, and the buttermilk from the process is amazing.  It can be used in any recipe buttermilk is called for.  Pamcakes made from it are light and fluffy, and it is quite drinkable.  I recommend that you add about 1/2 tsp salt (I use fine sea salt) per quart, or more to taste.  The salt enhances the flavor and improves the keeping quality of the buttermilk.  I haven't tested it, but I am certain that the homemade cultured buttermilk is slightly more acidic than store-bought, and doesn't have all the fillers and other unnecessary substances found in the commercial toxic brews labeled "buttermilk".


If you have a food processor, butter making is easy.  From one half-gallon carton of natural heavy cream (no additives), I get just under 2 pounds of butter and just slightly less than a quart of buttermilk.  I culture the cream with a little homemade yogurt or kefir for about 12 hours before making the butter.  The butter is better than high-dollar imported cultured butters, and at $7.99 for the cream, I save a lot of money also.


--Bob

xaipete's picture
xaipete

I'm going to try it. I really appreciate your input. I only hope that you aren't drinking the pancakes! --Pamela

rryan's picture
rryan

I probably should have clarified what "it" referres to, but the tense of other words in the statement requires "it" to be the buttermilk.  If I had stated "they are quite drinkable", I would have been referring to the pancakes.  And my wife thinks that I am the only one who loves to play with words!


Enjoy the butter-making process as well as the resultant products.  I always feel a real sense of satisfaction when the butter separates from the buttermilk.  Boy, do I need to get a life!


--Bob

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Could you elaborate a bit more on culturing the cream? How much is a little yogurt/kefir? I've read that you should rinse the butter after, true?


Thanks,


Betty


Oh, never mind, I see in another post you said an ounce.

rryan's picture
rryan

Yes, one ounce is sufficient for 1/2 gallon of cream - just enough to make the cream thicken a little after an overnight ferment on the countertop.  And yes, the butter needs rinsed 2 or 3 times, then worked in a bowl with a wooden spoon or spatula to remove as much water as you can.  Just do a quick internet search on butter making and there are some excellent directions available.  A good site is :


http://blog.cooklikeyourgrandmother.com/2008/06/how-to-make-cultured-butter-and.html


Don't forget to salt and save your buttermilk!


--Bob

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

I'll be making some this weekend!


Betty

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

without any additives or stabilizers is turning out to be a challenge. It's amazing how little I pay attention to what is in the food I eat. I very rarely buy heavy cream, so maybe that's why I've never paid attention to the ingredients. Excuses, excuses! It may be a while until I can try making homemade butter. Now I'm all the more determined.


Betty

xaipete's picture
xaipete

Betty, I bought the cream at Costco. It worked great. --Pamela

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

I still jump up and down in glee when I take out beautifully high and light loaves of ww bread made with my starter.  That's when I get a real high on life!  Wow, I made this without using any commercial yeast at all, just my own homemade flour/water wild yeast, wow!  This is a life and a half!

rryan's picture
rryan

I get that way too, PaddyL, particularly when using my own starter as I normally do.  Have you posted your recipe for this bread using starter?  If not, how about sharing it here?


--Bob

kanin's picture
kanin

Tried this recipe without modifications and it came out great. The bread was moist, dense and slightly chewy for me. I used rolled wheat flakes and whole wheat pastry flour from Bob's Red Mill, but also tried it with Hodgson Mills graham flour with similar results.


(links to my blog) Irish soda bread:


SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I love seeing everyone's version of Irish soda bread! Looks like you just need a big bowl of Irish stew!


Sylvia

xaipete's picture
xaipete

Nice picture, artfully done. Such a simple but effective background!


--Pamela

xaipete's picture
xaipete

 


I made Hamelman's recipe for Irish Soda Bread and I made the buttermilk and used King Arthur Wholemeal Irish-style flour. The bread turned out absolutely perfect! It exceeded all my expectations! We ate it with the butter leftover from making the buttermilk!


This is not a great picture, but I'm making some more today and I'll get a better shot of it this afternoon.



--Pamela

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

Pamela, your house looks just like ours, lots and lots of books!

xaipete's picture
xaipete

I used to have a lot more! I was always buying more bookcases. Then we remodeled a little bit and dedicated one large alcove with high ceilings to books and I said that's it. Want to buy some more, then get rid of some! Now I have books behind books, book laying sideways on vertical books. Books in closets. It's a disease!


--Pamela

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Looks like you/ve got a 'Grand Ole Irish Meal There!'


Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Sylvia

xaipete's picture
xaipete

This was our trial meal. We're gonna repeat it tomorrow! I bought two corned beefs at Costco, so I still have one left to cook. I cooked it in a pressure cooker with 2 cups of beer and 2 cups of water for 65 minutes (a 4 1/2 pound piece). It was the best corned beef we've ever had. 


--Pamela

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I love corned beef cooked in a pressure cooker and a lot of other things...my mother in law gave me my first pressure cooker over 40 yrs. ago...one of my favorite appliances...I have them in 3 sizes actually 4 is you count my hugh canner one! 

xaipete's picture
xaipete

I have a 12 qt. and a 6 qt. I plan on buying one for canning this summer. I cooked the potatoes in the 'little guy' in the steaming rack and the beef in the 'big boy'. After the beef was done, I removed it to a platter and lowered the cabbage and carrots in the pot--I overcooked them a little, but they still tasted great. I can't wait for a repeat tomorrow and another chance to make that yummy soda bread.


--Pamela