Friday, March 17, 2017

Foodie Fridays: Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread Rolls

Lately I have been obsessed with soups, and with our recent bout of frigid weather as well as my lingering head cold this obsession continues.  However, today's post will instead focus on a St. Patrick's Day bread to accompany soups.  These Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread Rolls from Eating Well look like a yeast bread, but thanks to the baking soda and buttermilk are much quicker and easier to make.

The original recipe calls for minced fresh thyme, but I substituted an equal amount of caraway seeds instead.  You can leave them out or add whatever seasoning(s) you prefer.  Serve these rolls warm with butter and a comforting bowl of soup.  Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone!

Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread Rolls

1 C. plus 2 T. whole wheat flour
1 C plus 2 T. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4-1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. caraway seeds
1/2 C. buttermilk
1/2 C. milk (plus 1 T.)
2 tsp. honey
2 T. old-fashioned rolled oats

In a large bowl, thoroughly combine the first five ingredients.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the next three ingredients except for the 1 T. milk.  Add to the dry ingredients and stir just until the dough comes together (I had to add an additional tablespoonful of milk, as my dough was a bit dry at first).

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface.  Gently knead with lightly floured hands a few times until smooth.  Divide the dough into six equal pieces and shape each into a 2-inch round about 1 inch thick.  Place on a Silpat- or parchment paper-lined baking sheet about 1/2-inch apart. Brush the rolls with the remaining 1 T. milk and sprinkle with the oats, pressing on them lightly to make them stick.

Bake the rolls at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Makes 6 rolls.

Note: It takes a bit of practice to decide if your dough is too wet or dry.  When the ingredients are stirred together the dough should be smooth and elastic.  It should hold together but not be sticky.  Add more liquid, one tablespoonful at a time, if too dry and more flour, also a spoonful at a time, if too wet.  The important thing to remember is not to overwork your dough, or it will become tough.

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