Monday, March 15, 2010

Irish Whisky Artisan Bread

Irish Whisky Artisan Bread

As you will notice, this is not the Irish Soda bread because it does not have soda or baking powder. However, I’ve created this recipe to take the Irish Soda bread as an inspiration to make artisan bread. Artisan breads last a little longer because of the starter in them. This bread will be a hit every time you make it, enjoy!


10 oz whole wheat flour
20 oz All Purpose flour (+ for dusting)
6 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs salt
2 tbs dry yeast
3 oz starter (3 tbs flour + 3 tbs water. Let them sit overnight covered with a damped kitchen towel)
23 oz luke warm buttermilk (19 + 4 separated)
1 tsp Irish Whisky flavoring
1 tsp Tahitian vanilla extract
7 oz raisins

Soak raisins in 4 oz buttermilk and add the vanilla extract. (The vanilla extract will bring out the sweetness of the raisins) Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix 19 oz buttermilk, Irish whisky flavoring, and sugar. Mix flours and salt and add to the buttermilk. Add the yeast at last. Swirl all ingredients by hand from the center out (just like a mixer would) until they are wet. Add the raisins. The dough will be sticky.

Lightly flour a flat surface with flour and transfer the dough. Knead for about 10 minutes until the dough has developed gluten and it is firm to the touch. It will have a play-dough consistency.

Lightly spray a large bowl, form a ball with the dough and put it in the bowl. Cover with a plastic wrap sprayed with non-stick oil as well. Let it rest for about 1 hour. The dough should double in size.

At this point, the dough can be refrigerated. When ready to be used, lightly flour a flat surface and transfer the dough. Cut the dough in 1 lb squares. Bring the edges in and form a ball with each square. Let them rest for about 2 hrs covered to avoid drying out.

Preheat your oven at 450 F. Score the bread with a sharp knife (if you don’t have a razor) in an “X” shape. Spray the bread with water (this will allow the bread to expand better when forming the crust) and lightly dust it with flour.

Bake for 16 minutes then rotate the bread. Reduce the oven temperature to 430 F and lightly open the oven (venting) for the next 14 minutes to let the moisture out and help form a better crust.

When it’s ready, cool it in racks.

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