This post will contain a little bit of this and a little bit of that, including a recipe for Irish Soda Bread with Fresh Dill, an easy book craft, and a few pictures from the garden I took this morning. It rained last night, so everything shimmered with spangles of rain drops.
I found the bread recipe while browsing through old issues of Chocolatier magazine, in an interview with a chef. The chocolate recipes were elaborate and multi-tiered but the bread recipe sounded good and easy. I tried it, and it’s a keeper.
Irish Soda Bread with Fresh Dill
4 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
4 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1-3/4 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
Position rack in the top third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and dill. In a measuring cup combine the oil and buttermilk. Slowly pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture , and mix until the dough forms a ball.
Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface, and knead for about 5 minutes, to form a moist, smooth dough. (If you use a large enough bowl, you can knead the dough right in the bowl, and save yourself a messy work surface. This dough will be a bit sticky, but hang in there.)
Divide the dough in half and form into two smooth balls. Place the balls on a large ungreased baking sheet. (I covered mine with parchment paper to save on cleanup.) Pat the balls into circles about 5 to 5-1/2 inches across, about an 1-1/4 tall, and sprinkle with flour. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until bottoms and tops of loaves are golden. Cool before cutting.
This is what a quarter cup of fresh dill looks like. You could use 1 teaspoon of dried dill.
I wondered if this bread would be good made with whole wheat bread flour, but I couldn’t scare up any such thing in stores near me. So I tried half whole wheat flour and half white bread flour. The result was stodgy in texture, and the whole wheatness masked the fresh dill flavor. So I would stick with the white bread flour.
Next up is the book craft, which I almost hesitate to call a craft–it’s more of an idea you can take and run with. I found myself with some pretty little old books, and that as the summer went on, I picked little sprigs of flowers and herbs, and pressed them in the books. The results were charming, and I hope that a future book lover will find these sprigs and be as happy with them as I am when I find a pressed flower in an old book–it’s like a message from the past.
I used a small German bible, as well as the book below– a little (3-3/4 x 4-3/4) book of poetry by Tennyson.
Here are how some of the pages turned out.
I was thrilled to get this picture of a white-breasted nuthatch, because normally they hop around very quickly, but this little fellow stayed in one spot long enough for me to take his picture.
Hope your week is good. Namaste. Fran