I’m not sure yours will be so green
If my Ancestry DNA profile is correct, I have 22% Irish ethnicity. Not that you’d know it by anything in my upbringing. Apparently my maternal grandfather was bullied as a Protestant dog by the Irish Catholic boys in his small Ohio hometown, so he was determined to just be a “red-blooded American.” Thus, I wouldn’t know an Irish custom, or any other ethnic custom, unless I read about it. I have read about Irish soda bread and have tried many different recipes for it, only to be disappointed. All the recipes I’ve tried come across as poor tasteless cousins of the scone, but maybe I’ve been expecting the wrong results. Luckily, I ran across this “nouveau” version, and it is a game changer, even if it might lack in authenticity.
I’m testing and reviewing “Nouveau Irish Soda Bread” from Food 52, which I discovered through A Pug in the Kitchen, where the original recipe was adapted, mostly by leaving out the vegetables. Vegetables? Yep. That’s one reason why I call this soda bread edible.
I followed the recipe exactly, except for the beer. The recipe calls for an Irish-style lager—I don’t even know what a lager is. Not being a beer drinker and at the mercy of whatever my husband might have on hand (he doesn’t drink much nor often), I used 4 oz of the one lone bottle of Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat beer in the fridge and poured the rest down the drain. Otherwise, I carefully measured the celery and green onions, and I actually had fingerling potatoes on hand, although they were multi-colored (does that matter?). I used a good Greek yogurt and a good enough tablespoon of honey. Maybe I shouldn’t have used the one purple potato, though, because the cooking water was definitely purplish, but that doesn’t explain how green the bread turned out. I mean shamrock green!
Please follow the original recipe for Nouveau Irish Soda Bread and flip through the photos at the top of the page, where you’ll see some green, but not as much as mine.
I baked the bread for the full 45 mins, tenting the loaf with foil for the last 15 so the edges wouldn’t burn. The internal temperature was 190° when finished. It slices best after resting for a while.
This is a moist and delicious bread, even if it doesn’t connect with your ideas of what Irish soda bread should be. If it’s not what you’re looking for on St. Patrick’s Day, all the more reason to make it whenever it suits you. We ate it with venison white bean stew yesterday, and I ate a slice this morning. It is still moist.
Five stars: ★★★★★