Thursday, March 17, 2016

Traditional Irish Soda Bread

Since my roots come from Ireland, let's make this super easy, Traditional Irish Soda Bread
to go with our Irish Stew for dinner!

Irish Soda Bread is a rustic, dense bread with a crusty exterior. It's basically a large biscuit...sans the copious amounts of butter. Butter was more of a luxury back then in famine-stricken Ireland. But not to worry, when you slather it on the bread after it is cut, it is amazing!

Irish Soda Bread was traditionally made with only the most basic of ingredients: flour, baking soda (used as a leavening agent instead of yeast), soured milk (or Buttermilk) to moisten and activate the soda, and salt. This is more of a peasant bread. Let us save a space on our dinner tables tonight for this humble bread and be thankful for all that we have today. 

Traditional Irish Soda Bread

4 C. Flour
1 Tbs. Baking Powder (Not super traditional but it's GREAT for levening!)
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
2 C. Buttermilk or Sour Milk* 
1 egg (mixed with a splash of water for egg wash)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet.
Add flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder to a large bowl and  mix well.
Make a well for the buttermilk. Pour in the buttermild and mix until the flour is moistened and partially comes together. If necessary, add a little more buttermilk if your dough is too dry.
Pour this mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until the dough forms a nice ball and holds together. DO NOT knead it too much or your bread will be tough.
Shape the dough into approximately an 8-inch disk and place on your prepared baking sheet.
Using a knife cut an X about 1 inch deep on the top. Not only does this make it look beautiful and rustic, but this helps it cook in the middle.
Brush the top of the loaf with an egg wash and sprinkle some flour on top for a more rustic look.
Bake for about 35 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when you tap on it.
Transfer to a rack to cool. Serve warm with butter. Leftover bread, if you have any, is wonderful the next day sliced and toasted and topped with butter and jam.
*To make sour milk, combine 1 Tbs. Lemon juice with 1 C. Milk

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Ruffles are everything...

Today we are talking RUFFLES!! This cake is so versatile depending on how you dress it up. Here is the tutorial!! 

P.S. Here is the link to the most AMAZING rolling pins that I used on the show! You will never see a higher quality and more beautiful rolling pin! They are the only rolling pin that I will ever use and they are heirloom quality pieces that can be handed down  from generation to generation. I got a custom rolling pin with BEEHIVE handles!! Eeek! I heart the Beehive State. :)

Here's a quick shot of the pins on the set with me: 

K, back to the tutorial:

Here's what you need:

I LOVE this set by Wilton. I used the ball tool for this technique but I'm really excited about the cutting tool that has the  needle tool on the end for Sugar Cookie Decorating!!

 1. Prep your surface with cornstarch.

 2. Roll out your fondant. Seriously, my favorite rolling pin will get it to the thickness that you need! CLICK HERE for some rolling pin eye candy!

3. Make sure it's really thin!

4. Cut out your large circle out: 

5. Now cut your small circle out. Just eye-ball it. ;)

6. Make sure to keep them in a ziplock bag until you are ready to use them. 

Start at the top!

Keep layering until THIS happens. ;)