Irish Soda Bread Muffins
Contributed by Kayte.
The seventh recipe I chose from the Quick Breads Section of The Modern Baker by Nick Malgieri, was the one for Irish Soda Bread Muffins , on page 59 (photo on page 61). (We are not publishing recipes from the book, so if you like what you see, buy the book and bake along with or without us).
Yesterday was my Irish grandmother’s 100th Birthday. Frances Viola O’Brien was born May 22, 1910, and although she has no longer been with us these past 11 years, memories of her and her Irish ways will be with me always. When the list came out for us to select a recipe to bake and post, I knew I wanted this one as it would be fun to make them on her birthday, using her old mixing bowls. mixing spoons, and measuring things, etc., which I was lucky enough to inherit.
She was the oldest of nine children of an immigrant family from Ireland, the county of Armaugh, and was always proud of her heritage. She made soda bread from time to time, but it did not have sugar in it, and was sort of a crumbly texture, a rustic nature, made with ingredients that immigrants had on hand no doubt, sugar in those years maybe being a luxury rather than a staple. We added some raisins through the years, but they were also not part of the original recipe.
How did these Irish Soda Bread Muffins compare? If I was looking for a “nearly-like” recipe, this was not it, and Nick Malgieri states as much in the sidebar of the recipe page. That said, this was a fantastic recipe all on its own with the essence of Irish Soda Bread in every bite.
We loved them plain, with a little butter, with some jam, and as a turkey, cheese, and chutney sandwich for lunch…I made the whole recipe this time, all 12 muffins because I wanted to have some left the next day to see how they stood the test of a day. They were even maybe more flavorful on the second day, definitely the raisins stood out more. My Granny Franny would have approved. She was all about taking something Irish and improving on it, moving forward, but not forgetting the past, keeping it with her always.
The recipe is very simple, you can assemble it all in no time. Ingredient list: Flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, butter, sugar, egg, buttermilk, and raisins. (Caraway seeds were optional and I did not opt to use those.) You mix it all up, bake it for 30 minutes, wait until cooled (okay I didn’t wait for one of them to cool because I wanted to taste if straight from the oven, and so happy I did as it was very good). The muffins were inexpensive, delicious, quick, and fun…definitely these will be appearing here again.
Next week: Pecorino & Pepper Biscuits, page 51. If you would like to bake along or be a part of the Modern Baker group, you will find all that, plus a tab to link to the blogs posting the Quick Breads, with the blogroll here.