The other day, I was delighted to have afternoon tea with a friend who lives gluten-free. Most days I just have a cup of tea as “pick-me-up” when I get home from work, before preparing supper. It is so nice to have a reason to make it more special. In the morning I baked a loaf of “tea bread” – Irish Soda Bread and cooked up a small batch of lemon curd to spread on the bread. It was a good way to use up a couple of lemons that had seen better days.
My favourite Irish Soda Bread Recipe:
3 3/4 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour*
2 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 cup Thompson raisins
1/4 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (roughly)
1 1/3 cup milk that has been soured with 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Put the raisins in a small saucepan and just cover with water. Simmer for 5 minutes then drain and let cool somewhat.
In a large bowl, stir the dry ingredients together until well combined. Add the butter pieces and blend into the flour mixture with your fingers until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Mix in the drained raisins. Add the milk and stir in with a fork to form a slightly sticky dough.
Turn the dough out onto a parchment lined baking sheet and shape into a mound. With a sharp knife, cut a cross into the top of the dough about 1/2 inch deep. Brush the loaf top with milk and bake for 50 – 60 minutes. The loaf crust should be golden and firm. Remove the loaf from the oven to a cooling rack for the first ten minutes. Then take the loaf off the baking sheet and let it cool completely on the wire rack.
To my vegetarian friends: I suppose you could try this recipe with coconut oil, but I don’t know what you could use in place of the milk.
*Gluten -free all-purpose flour used in this recipe: 2 cups brown rice flour, 1 cup millet flour, 1 cup sorghum flour, 1 1/3 cup tapioca starch, 1 1/3 cup potato starch mixed together. This makes more than is needed for this recipe.
Part 2 of afternoon tea to come…