Irish soda bread, or brown bread, is something usually baked in the oven. But one day on Twitter, Brooks at Cakewalker (gorgeous cakes and more!) told me he'd like to see a slow cooker version. Of course, that sounded like a great idea to me, so I told him I'd get right on it.
Why might you want to bake your soda bread in a slow cooker? Maybe your oven is otherwise occupied. Or it's a hot day and you don't want to run your oven. Why did I want to do it? Because I just love experimenting in the kitchen!
Two years ago I posted my regular Irish Brown Bread, which I love. But knowing Brooks likes a sweeter soda bread, I modified my recipe to include a higher proportion of white to whole wheat flour and more brown sugar than my usual one tablespoon.
I skipped the raisins he likes, since I wasn't sure how well this would even turn out in the slow cooker. But you can add a cup of raisins (plumped in very hot water for several minutes and drained well), if you like.
Another change (in the interests of "authenticity," you might say) was using soured (with vinegar) milk rather than commercial cultured buttermilk. After all, back in the day, the Irish housewives would not have had storebought cultured buttermilk but would have used soured milk.
Do you ever make Irish Soda Bread? Is it part of your heritage? Or something you've adopted, as I have?
Slow Cooker Irish Soda Bread
1 1/2 cups milk
2 dip-and-sweep cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 dip-and-sweep cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg
* I have the Cuisinart MSC-600 6-quart multicooker slow cooker with separate nonstick cooking pot (which is oval, but I still made the loaf round because, well, it's just gotta be round!).
* Added 03/15/15: One reader found that 3 1/2 hours was a little too long in her slow cooker and thought she'd check it at 3 hours next time.