Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cranberry Lemon Soda Bread

Cranberry Lemon Soda Bread
I get a lot of inspiration for cooking from watching cooking  shows. Our family lives about 30 miles out of town so ingredients on hand typically determine how I will make something. It is not at all uncommon for me to take an existing recipe and adapt it to those available ingredients.  The trick is, of course, trying to make sure I have a good stock of staples.  This recipe is an adaptation from The Barefoot Contessa.   The most notable changes are switching out cranberries for currants, honey for sugar, 100% white flour for 1/2 whole wheat, lemon zest for orange and finally skim milk + lemon juice for buttermilk.  That sounds like a big list but in my opinion the trades are reasonable.

Difficult: easy
Duration: 1 hour


4 cups flour
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick butter
1 3/4 cup skim milk
1 large egg
1 lemon's zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped cranberries
1/4 cup sliced almonds


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.  Mix the ingredients. I use my kitchen-aide but if you don't have one just use your hands.  This mixture will be very sticky.  Form into a round loaf, place on top of the parchment on the cookie sheet.  Bake for 45-55 minutes.  To test if is done cooking; stick a toothpick into the top of the loaf and if it pulls out clean you are done.


Instead of pulling the post down I decided to leave this up.  I personally do not like this recipe.  I think it is recoverable and that would include adding quite a lot more honey.  The cranberries were simply too tart and the bread did not have enough sweetness to offset the tartness.  If I take some of our incredible strawberry jam that we make from local strawberries and slather up a slice it becomes reasonable to me.  But I am completely of the opinion that this has everything to do with how wonderful that jam is.  

If you want to try what I think my next attempt would be I would double the honey ( 1/2 cup ) and switch from 1/2 cup chopped cranberries and go to 1/2 cup of cran-raisins.

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