Thursday, March 14, 2013

Irish Soda Quick-Bread (Gluten Free)

Lá Fhéile Pádraig (almost), everybody!

This gluten-free rice flour quick-bread is light, sweet, moist and cake-like in texture. While there is no soda used for leavening in this recipe, it's still "Irish Soda" inspired because it's flavored with caraway and currents, which are common Irish Soda bread ingredients.

I created this recipe very early in the morning while jamming out to the Irish Traditional station on Pandora Radio. If I'd been scheming, I would have made it in the afternoon and had a Guinness (or two!) whilst I toiled, but alas, I was not scheming. Learn from my mistakes!

This recipe is vegetarian (if you do eggs/butter) and gluten free. It uses the gluten free rice flour blend I blogged about previously with my Smokey Mocha Tarts. The resulting bread is really scrumptious, especially on the same day it's baked after it has fully cooled. It's also good the next morning but any further out than that didn't thrill me texture-wise.

The cake is also quite sweet, so I'd suggest reducing the sugar by up to half if you prefer things on the less-sweet side. If you enjoy a slice along with a steaming cup of black coffee, however, it's pretty much magic. Pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, magic? Yep, that kind of magic!...sorry, I had to.

Gluten Free "Irish Soda" Quick-Bread
(makes one 9 inch loaf / OR 24 mini muffins/ OR one small loaf and 12 mini muffins)
1 1/2 cups gluten free flour blend
1/2 cup (8 Tablespoons/1 stick) salted butter
1/2 cup sugar (or less)
1 teaspoon lemon extract (or 1 Tablespoon lemon juice)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup almond milk (any milk you have will do)
1 1/2 Tablespoons caraway seeds
1/2 cup currants

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Prepare a loaf pan by lining it with foil and greasing it well. If you're using a mini muffin tin, grease the tin well with vegetable oil. 

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the wet ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the gluten free flour blend and beat until combined. 

Transfer the batter to your prepared tin(s) and bake for about 38 minutes for a loaf (until it's golden and a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs) or 18 minutes for mini muffins.

NOTE: The swirls I created on the top of the loaf pretty much maintained their integrity during baking, so pay a little attention to the design before baking so your loaf comes out looking snazzy. Dang, it just occurred to me that I should have tried drawing a shamrock on it. If you try that and it works, pleeeease let me know!

Éirinn go Brách!