Saturday, March 8, 2014

Pull-Apart Soda Bread Rolls

In keeping with my recent St. Patrick's Day theme, I was looking up recipes for soda bread.  I stumbled across the idea of Pull-Apart Soda Bread in Martha Stewart's magazine...but unfortunately I've had pretty bad luck with her recipes.  In my experience they tend to be off in lots of ways and I'm a little wary of them.
The idea, though, was great!

I started with this recipe for Amazingly Easy Irish Soda Bread and it definitely lived up to it's name!  I did have to add a little extra buttermilk, but that's ok.  I liked that it was basic- a lot of recipes dress the bread up, and I wanted to keep it simple to go with dinner.
Soda Bread is different from other breads because it doesn't contain yeast; the bread rises due to the reaction formed between the baking soda and the lactic acid in the buttermilk.

Learn something new everyday, right?

It's quick to make, requires no rise time, and doesn't require kneeding- so for all of you out there short on time or intimidated by making breads with yeast, this is perfect!  Not to mention the bake time is cut in half when you make it as individual rolls.  :-)

On a personal note, I'm SUPER excited about this bread because my son LOVES it!  We struggle daily with sensory issues and the extremely short list of foods he will tolerate.  This time of year, when I'm not brave enough to head outside to take a picture of what I've made, I tend to head over to the front door since the light through the storm door is great for pictures.  My little guy joined me, plopped down, and started saying "Yum yum!  Good!  Eat!"--given his autism-related speech delay, that level of communication is pretty exciting and I didn't skip a beat when it came to breaking one of the rolls into pieces for him.  He gobbled up almost all of it!  Needless to say, this is a recipe that will absolutely be repeated in our house!

This is a great dinner bread regardless of the time of year- but definitely keep it in mind when you're enjoying your corned beef and cabbage this year! ...though as we've already discussed, I'll stick to the cabbage myself :-)

4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup margarine, softened
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a large baking sheet.

2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and margarine. Stir in 1 cup of buttermilk and egg. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into 12 balls and place on prepared baking sheet, making sure they touch. In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush rolls with this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an 'X' into the top of each roll.

3. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 25 minutes. Check for doneness after 20 minutes. You may continue to brush the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes.

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