Soda bread has always been a problem.
You see, most soda breads are made with raisins (good) and caraway seeds (bad). I do not like caraway seeds. Something about their flavor, not to mention their hard little texture, really throws me off. I’ve never been a fan, and I’ve tried them plenty.
Seedless rye breads are delicious, though. As are seedless soda breads. Especially when you remove all the usual fillings and put chocolate chips there instead. Sacrilege, you say? Too bad. I’m going to enjoy St. Patrick’s my way!
In fact, I think we need to start a petition to make St. Paddy’s a bigger deal. You know, we should get the day off. And everyone should eat soda bread all day long with their meals. And we should have some kind of green food contest.
March needs holidays. We can even add another one into the end of the month, some kind of spring forward day without the uncomfortable time change. I don’t know about you, but this year’s time change left me feeling like I was slapped with a Nyquil stick.
Lest you think I’m digressing a lot right now, I’m not really. Because along with my amped-up St. Patrick’s Day should come amped-up soda breads. Why stop at chocolate chips? I dare all of my blog baker friends out there to find out what lengths they can climb to with a soda bread and a dream.
The great thing about soda bread is its inherent simplicity. For you yeast fearers out there, soda bread has no yeast. You pretty much mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients to make your dough. Once the dough has been kneaded a bit, all it takes is a little crisscross pattern to send the bread right into the oven.
You can eat this with butter, or not. Peanut butter, if you’re feeling daring. By itself if you realize (as I did) that it’s pretty rich on its own. But definitely without caraway seeds. We want none of those here!
Either way, it’s time to up the party level. We need more to celebrate in March, from the gradually climbing temps to the existence of chocolate chips. Let the holiday madness begin!
Chocolate Chip Soda Bread
4 cups flour (plus a bit for dusting while you knead)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup chocolate chips
1 and 1/3 cups buttermilk
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
- Preheat the oven to 350. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Using your fingers, a knife or a pastry blender, cut in the butter until crumbs form. Add the chocolate chips.
- In a smaller bowl, combine the buttermilk, egg, and egg yolk. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix thoroughly.
- Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Shape into a circle a bit smaller than your pan. Using a sharp knife, score a deep X into the top.
- Place the dough in the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes. The bread should be golden on top but not too dark.
- Cool. Slice and serve!