So, it appears that we’ve started an alcohol-spiked bread series here. Last time we made a red wine biga bread and today we’re giving an Irish whiskey bread a shot 😉 Get it? Errr, lame joke, I know, sorry.
Anyway, this sweet soda bread has raisins, butter, and honey—it’s sweet and rich, best eaten warm with lots of sour cream. We chose a nice, middle-range blend whiskey for it—we didn’t want any strong aromas taking over, plus, don’t break the bank using a single malt for baking—single malts have far better uses 😉 If you’re feeling adventurous though, and have a bottle of peat whiskey lying around, go nuts! (And don’t forget to share.)
This is a quick bread—if you apply yourself you will be done in under an hour, including baking.
The recipe uses three different types of leavening—baking soda, baking powder, and soda water. When using soda water, be careful not to over-knead the dough or to over-mix your batter (e.g. if you’re making pancakes or muffins). Another trick is to bake immediately, because the carbonation doesn’t last long and if we want the leavening effect, we have to act fast.
However, these rules don’t apply to sourdough breads. Just sayin’.
This is a no-knead bread—you can mix it in a bowl and use a spoon or a spatula instead of your hands. Like I said, you don’t want to beat the carbonation out of it! Be gentle and fold the dough carefully. It’s fine if it looks a bit lumpy as well. If your sultanas/raisins are very dry, soak them in a little whiskey before adding them to your dough. It’ll make them soft and slightly tangy.
Before baking the bread, you can glaze it with a mixture of whiskey and milk.
I really wanna say that time slipped away from me while I was on baking duty (that way I’d have an excuse), but I’d be lying. I tend to obsess about things and second-guess my decisions, and I’m no different in the kitchen. I’m afraid I fussed over it a bit too much and over-baked the bread a little. I was anxious to get it just right and of course, things spiraled. It was probably done 10 minutes before looking like that. It still tasted amazing, only the edges were a bit harder and darker. Simeon wasn’t impressed by my self bashing though—he was too busy stuffing his face. I practically had to wrestle him away to take some pictures before the bread disappeared. Can’t really blame him—it was yummy!
- 500g (17.5 oz) of wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 60g (2 oz) cold butter
- 1 cup sultanas
- 1/2 cup liquid honey
- 50ml (1.5 oz) whiskey
- 300ml (10 oz) soda water
For the glaze:
- 1 tbsp whiskey
- 1 tbsp milk
- Sift the flour into a bowl and mix it together with the baking soda, the salt, and the baking powder.
- Add the butter, chopped into small pieces, and start kneading.
- Add the sultanas.
- Mix the honey together with the club soda and the whiskey.
- Add the liquid slowly to the flour and start blending.
- Shape into a ball and cut a plus or a star on top with a sharp knife.
- Glaze the bread with the milk and whiskey mixture before you put it in the oven(optional).
- Bake at 180°C (350F) for 40-50 minutes.
- Serve with sour cream or aroma-rich cheese such as Gorgonzola.