Thursday, March 20, 2014

An Ode to Buttermilk

buttermilk

Oh, my piquant and captivating friend!
What wonders and delights you hold!
You are always in my refrigerator
Waiting for new adventures untold!

milk mustache


There are no words my tongue can employ
To describe thy creamy liquid wonder
I hasten to pluck thee from my refrigerator
Oh you that brings me such joy.


Yes, I admit it! I am a buttermilk fanatic!
Yes, I admit it! I gag if I have to drink it from a cup!
Okay, where’s the attraction????

heart

It’s all in the baking…yummity-yum=yum. The best bread recipes are made with buttermilk.
It’s a magical liquid. It elevates everything it’s baked in.

Then there are cookies, and pies…

Here’s a favorite from our family. Irish Soda Bread. It is a type of sheepherder’s bread, nothing like what you see as traditional Irish Soda Bread. Once made, pull off a chunk with your hand and butter. And you’re in Buttermilk Irish Heaven!

irish soda bread


Irish Soda Bread
4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp soda
1-1/3 to 1½ cups buttermilk

Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl. Make a hollow in the center and pour in 1 cup of the buttermilk. Mix with spoon and add enough more buttermilk to make a firm but not dry loaf. 

Turn onto a floured board and knead lightly. Shape into a round loaf and cut across the top so that it will not crack. Place in a buttered cast iron skillet or stoneware shallow pan with edges and bake at 350' for 40 to 45 minutes.

Loaf should be broken, not cut. It is good hot or cold.


And now for another buttermilk treat!

This Buttermilk Raisin Bread came from a beloved cookbook of mine: Bread Machine Magic. I have tried dozens of recipes from it and all of them have turned out to be favorites!

buttermilk raisin bread


Buttermilk Raisin Bread
7/8 cup buttermilk
1 egg
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter
1/4 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup raisins
1-1/2 tsp yeast
3 Tbsp sugar

Place all ingredients in bread pan, select light crust or 1 pound setting. Press start.

After the baking cycle ends, remove bread from pan, place on cooling rack, and allow to cool one hour before slicing. (Oh yeah sure! Who can wait one hour? What a crummy cookbook!)

1-1/2 pound loaf

Cooking Tips: Getting it right after baking: Here’s how I make my bread have a soft crust. When you get the bread out of the pan, wrap it in a terry cloth towel (completely wrapped) Place on a cooling rack. Cool completely in towel before putting in plastic bag.

If you find yourself always having leftover buttermilk in the fridge after baking a recipe, here's a website that will show you how to freeze and store it. Very interesting!

And now…let’s find out. How many of you can wait until the bread is completely cooled before you slice it and eat?






























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