Thursday, July 31, 2008

Chocolate Chip Soda Bread (dairy free, chocolate free options)

I bet you thought I forgot about the soda bread, didn’t you? Well, I most certainly did not.

I wanted something that was more dessert-like but still a bread. Since yeast is right out for me, I turned to a traditional Irish Soda Bread recipe and went from there. I used some whole wheat flour for flavor and texture and almond milk for flavor as well. I added chocolate chips but dried fruits will work, too.

Let’s break it down. Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees.

You’ll need:

· 2 C all purpose flour
· 2 C whole wheat flour
· 1 T baking soda
· 2 T sugar (I haven’t had a lot of luck using sucralose for this but you might do better with saccharine)
· 2 tsp salt
· 1 T butter or margarine
· 1 ½ - 2 C milk or dairy alternative such as soy, rice or almond milk (you’ll start with 1 ½ C and if you need more you’ll go as high as 2 C)
· 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (You may use carob or dried fruits such as cherries, cranberries or raisins if you prefer)

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Make a sort of well in the center and add 1 1/2 cups of the milk and the butter. I like to have the butter softened for this. Not melted, but soft. Mix lightly and quickly with a fork. You are looking for a dough that is soft but not too sticky. If you need to add more milk, you can add up to half cup additional milk until the texture of the dough is right. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Turn the dough out onto a floured board (Don’t have a board? Use your counter or table.) and knead for about one minute.
Place the dough onto a cookie sheet (I like to line mine with parchment paper or a silpat) and shape into a circle about 1 ½ “ thick and score a cross into the top.

Bake for 40 – 45 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Be sure to brush the top and sides with butter or margarine while it is still warm to keep the crust from getting hard.

That’s it! It’s simple and not nearly as time consuming as it sounds. It makes a very nice snack bread or even a breakfast bread. While I don’t recommend putting slices in your toaster, putting a couple slices under the broiler would be nice. Then, served with just a bit of butter or margarine and possibly some honey, you’d have one really great snack.

So, let’s go eat that!


Corinne said...

Mm,sounds great... I love that you used whole wheat flour, I've been trying to use that more... I also like that it's not a yeast bread! As I have a major fear of it! :)

Sandra Gordon said...

I love the nutty flavor of the whole wheat. However, it is really hard to use it exclusively. I did try it the last time I made this bread and that was one of the reasons the bread was so heavy, I think. There were a few other things I tried that probably were contributing factors.

At any rate, this recipe does result in a nice snack or breakfast (especially if you use fruit) bread and it is a lot less fussy than yeast bread.