Memories of Irish Soda Bread on St.Patrick’s Day were very basic. I remember a raisin stuffed gloppity gloop, and like most breads, I just wanted the crust. Soda bread gets busy from using regular old Baking Soda, very obvious connection. Soda driven bakes are known as quick breads, and are much more simple to put together than yeast breads. Irish Soda Bread comes from the daily bread making habits of the Irish home. This bread is fast to make, and tastes great enough to eat fast too.
Though I could throw everything in my bread machine and call it a day, since mine has a yeast-free setting, I’m not super into the shape it produces. As a throwback to the original preparation of the stuff, in a cast iron skillet on a wood stove or in a hearth, I finally got myself one of these cast iron jams. I think living with roommates was always a deterrent, these pans can’t be treated like any ol’ teflon jam.
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The baking temperature is a little high on this recipe, so it’s normally dicey to put cannabis in there. But the upside to slightly overbaked edibles is a CBN high, which is a bit sleepier and more couch-locking. That makes this a great day off, sick day, snow day, or insomnia treat.
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If you want to preserve the THC, first know you won’t be losing all of it, just enough to notice the slowdown. You can bake it at a lower temp (it will take forever), toss the whole thing inside an oven bag, or just spread the cannabutter on a weedless loaf after baking. I’m ok with a little CBN on a binge-TV day, so I’m rolling the dice on some of the lesser-desired cannabinoids.
Well Done Irish Soda Bread
Inspired by Stella Parks at Serious Eats and PBS bingeing
- 3.5mg THC per slice, 2mg CBN(estimated)
- 3 cups white flour
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- Pinch of sugar
- 2 Tbs cannabutter *
- 1 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl, either sift or incorporate well with a fork. Melt butter gently and stir into buttermilk, whip well to incorporate fully, you don’t want the oil to hit the flour by itself like with pastry.
Add the wet ingredients into the dry, pouring in a drizzle while you fold into the flour. Keep mixing until the flour is all hydrated, stop there for best finished texture. The dough will be wet, sticky, springy, and you want to act fast so that the chemical reaction from the soda happens in the oven, not on the counter.
Line a cast iron skillet with something non stick, scoop the dough into the skillet, no need to shape other than making a big cross to allow air to escape. Its recommended to wipe the knife in between cuts, I would say wipe the knife four times, two was not enough to get a clean cut, but since this is a very rustic bread, there’s really no need to overthink it.
Bake for 45-58 minutes depending on your oven. I rotated a few times. This will get very deep brown, so if you don’t want things to get too crispy, cover for the first 20 minutes or turn the oven down for the last 15.
Allow to cool for 15 minutes at the bare minimum, if you can stand it. Like most breads, the longer you let it cool the better it will taste, slice, and behave. I thought my loaf was too burnt but it sliced beautifully and tasted like restaurant bread. It’s really hard to get that char on yeast breads without taking it too far.
Decarboxylate 3.5g of finely ground cannabis at 225 degrees for 20 minutes in a tightly sealed, oven safe container. Put cannabis in lidded mason jar or vacuum sealed bag with cannabis and one stick of butter. Heat in water bath just under boiling for at least 1 hour. Strain and chill to use in recipes.
This was so easy to create that I felt like I literally slapped it together. The alkaline flavors light up your mouth like a good pretzel or bagel, and with a good scoop of Irish butter (unsalted!) you’ve got yourself a gourmet treat in one third of the time it takes to make a baguette or even basic white bread. Making it on the lighter side in strength means you can eat as much as you want, perfect for snacking all day on your next TV marathon.
Photos: Danielle Guercio
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