Fruit and Nut Irish Soda Bread and some Updates!

First and Foremost....

Did you see that I have a new article for TASTE? Read about my love for (and the history of) the beautiful continental breakfast. I'm so pleased to have gotten a chance to write for them again after writing about the Pittsburgh-area tradition of the cookie table last year.

And now the blog post!

I've slowed down a bit these last few months. I'm taking my time to read, spend time with the dogs. I gave up meat 2 weeks ago, but it's not dogmatic - it's practice. And in the meantime, I'm planning a redesign for the blog, adding more features and getting organized. More on that in a couple weeks.

I like to think I'm organized. I'd like to think I'm a planner. I write things down and follow-up to emails. But when it comes to the cupboards, the pantry, I close the doors and forget about it until the next time I bake. That's why this recipe is so great - you can use up any extra dried ingredients you have lying around. Fold it around dough. Bake it in a warm oven. And snack all weekend for St. Patrick's Day.

Fruit and Nut Irish Soda Bread

Fruit and Nut Irish Soda Bread

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 TB cocoa powder
  • 6 TB salted butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 TB molasses
  • 1 1/2 cup nuts and dried fruit of your choice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425*F and prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper or a SIlpat
  2. Sift together flours, salt, soda, and cocoa
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together butter, egg, yogurt, and molasses
  4. Create a well in the center of your dry ingredients
  5. Slowly pour in your wet ingredients. Slowly stir your mixture as you go
  6. Your dough may be a little dry, if you are in a higher elevation or depending on your wheat flour, so add a little more milk until dough is shaggy
  7. Turn out onto a floured work surface
  8. Flatten out with the heel of your hand, pour in your choices of nuts and fruit and knead into the dough 
  9. Continue knead a few times until a more solid ball forms
  10. Place on your prepared pan
  11. Score top with an X
  12. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until crust is browned and bread is puffed
  13. Allow to cool before serving
Fruit and Nut Irish Soda Bread
Fruit and Nut Irish Soda Bread
Fruit and Nut Irish Soda Bread
Fruit and Nut Irish Soda Bread
Fruit and Nut Irish Soda Bread

Holiday Baking Continued: Goat Cheese-Stuffed Wheat Buns!

Goat Cheese Stuffed Honey Wheat Rolls (Red Star Yeast and Vermont Creamery)

Nolan, my sister, her husband, and I are taking a trip to New York tomorrow. It's a bus trip, 10 hours riding on a coach bus for the sake for 8 hours in the city. We're going because we used to do this when we were younger. We're doing this to reignite some old traditions that will, most likely, never fit into the mold of our lives now; but, god damnit if we don't try.

But this week, I've done a lot of baking. A lot of testing. A lot of trying to make the house warm with the oven on. A lot of convincing myself to keep moving forward, a direction I've always considered to be the better of the the two options available. And, to keep this post as short as possible so I can finish packing, here is a recipe I made this week. Goat cheese-stuffed buns, made with wheat and studded with walnuts. A little bit of the warmest flavors I could find in the fridge to stave off the cold from coming too close to our kitchen.

Goat Cheese-Stuffed Wheat Buns

Goat Cheese Stuffed Honey Wheat Rolls (Red Star Yeast and Vermont Creamery)

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 packet of Red Star platinum yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg + 1 white, both room temperature (use extra yolk for egg wash, see directions below)
  • 2 TB honey
  • 1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 8 ounces goat cheese (I used Vermont Creamery’s Coupole, but any goat cheese will do)
  • Walnuts, if desired

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan, heat milk, water, and butter until butter is completely melted. Stir to combine and transfer to your stand mixer’s bowl. Let stand until temperature reaches 110*F
  2. Add yeast and salt
  3. Let stand for 10 minutes or until yeast is bubbling
  4. While mixture is resting, sift together flours
  5. Turn on stand mixer, fitted with a dough hook, and add your egg and honey
  6. With mixer still on, add your flour mixture, about a ½ cup at a time, until a shaggy dough forms (depending on your wheat flour used and altitude, you may require just a little less flour than this recipe calls for)
  7. Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead for about 6 minutes or until dough is springy to the touch
  8. Place in an oiled bowl and let rest for one hour at room temperature
  9. After your hour has elapsed, preheat oven to 400*F and grease a 9-inch pan thoroughly. Also, cut your goat cheese into 8 pieces or so
  10. Punch dough down and divide into 8 or 9 pieces
  11. Pat each piece of dough flat with the palms of your hands and place a piece of goat cheese in the center
  12. Form a ball with the dough, leaving the goat cheese in the center
  13. Place in your pan
  14. Repeat with remaining dough
  15. Now, whisk your extra yolk with a teaspoon of water to create your egg wash. Brush a bit on top of each dough ball
  16. Press a walnut in the center of each ball, if desired, as well
  17. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown
  18. Serve immediately for a melt, delicious warm bun. But, these can keep and be reheated for up to two days in an airtight container
Goat Cheese Stuffed Honey Wheat Rolls (Red Star Yeast and Vermont Creamery)
Goat Cheese Stuffed Honey Wheat Rolls (Red Star Yeast and Vermont Creamery)
Goat Cheese Stuffed Honey Wheat Rolls (Red Star Yeast and Vermont Creamery)
Goat Cheese Stuffed Honey Wheat Rolls (Red Star Yeast and Vermont Creamery)
Goat Cheese Stuffed Honey Wheat Rolls (Red Star Yeast and Vermont Creamery)
Goat Cheese Stuffed Honey Wheat Rolls (Red Star Yeast and Vermont Creamery)
Goat Cheese Stuffed Honey Wheat Rolls (Red Star Yeast and Vermont Creamery)
Goat Cheese Stuffed Honey Wheat Rolls (Red Star Yeast and Vermont Creamery)

Thank you to Red Star Yeast for sponsoring this post. I believe in using quality products when it comes to baking and I am always confident my dough will rise beautifully with Red Star! Check out the active dry yeast I used for this recipe and others on their website, follow them on instagram and like their Facebook!

And while you're at it...like my Facebook and Instagram too!