Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Dining with the Bloggers - October 12th
I just "discovered" this great food blog, but judging from the comments on their posts, I think I'm the only one that didn't know about it. The blog is Belly-Timber, a joint effort of Mrs. D and Chopper Dave - husband and wife, chef and photographer, and food bloggers extraordinaire. Between the two of them they've created a food blog with a sense of humor, great food, and beautiful photos.
The recipe that caught my eye was for Irish Soda Bread. As usual, I was looking for something that wasn't too fussy. You can't beat Irish Soda Bread for simplicity and this recipe delivers a great tasting loaf of bread with very little effort. Although Mrs. D's approach to mixing the dough looked like fun, I decided to mix all the ingredients except the extra 3/4 cup of flour in a bowl. I dumped this wet dough onto the extra 3/4 cup of flour and worked that in with my hands. This takes all of about 5 minutes. Mrs. D used whole wheat bread flour, which I couldn't find. I used regular flour this time, but I might try regular whole wheat flour plus some vital wheat gluten next time.
I had one little problem with the recipe - I didn't read the temperature correctly. I thought it said 550. I had a gut feeling that the temperature wasn't right, but I started out at 550 anyway. The smoke detector went off after 15 minutes at which time I checked the bread and found it was burned on the bottom, very dark on top, and obviously not yet cooked through (though it had risen nicely!). I turned the temperature down to about 400, stuck another cookie sheet under the first and covered the top of the bread with foil. That evening I emailed Mrs. D and sure enough - the correct temperature is actually 350. (The recipe appears on their blog as a photograph of a page in a cookbook, and the 3 looks nearly identical to the 5.)
What is truly amazing is that despite the abuse heaped on it, the bread was fantastic! I did have to trim off the bottom crust, but the interior was still moist and absolutely delicious. I've eaten Irish Soda Bread before, but not made it, and I remember it as being too dry. Not so with this loaf. I would have been pleased with this bread even if it had been a more complicated recipe, but for such an easy recipe to turn out so well is really gratifying.
Zarah still has no internet hookup at home, but sounds like she is thrilled with the new apartment. She plans to post from school, so stop by to see what she's been cooking in her new kitchen!