Monday, March 7, 2011

Cheddar Soda Bread

In this day and age it is very difficult to survive in the farming business by yourself.  However, farm cooperatives have helped this situation quite a bit by using farmers in numbers to cut overhead.

This does not resolve everything because organic farmers have some additional problems. They are threatened with extinction everyday with GMO (genetically modified organisms).  GM foods are a part of big business that the organic farmers want no part of.

Monsanto apparently did not realize this when they attempted to sue Percy Schmeiser for "taking advantage of the GMO technology when GMO seeds crossed over into his crops."  Clearly, Percy did not see it as great technology..more like contamination.

Anyhow, this bread recipe uses the famous Vermont Cabot cheese which comes from a creamery that is supported by a farming cooperative.  As you can see in the picture, it resembles cornbread.  Do not let appearances fool you because the bread's cheesy interior is quite soft and moist, quite unlike cornbread.

This recipe is just right for those people who do not have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen.  It yields a very good result with very little time. Also, any quality sharp white cheddar cheese will do, Cabot brand is not a necessity.

Cheddar Soda Bread
adapted fromKing Arthur Flour

1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 egg
2 cups grated, loosely packed Cabot sharp cheddar (or white sharp cheddar)
4 tbs cold butter cut into cubes
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare 8 inch square or 9 inch round pan by greasing with oil.

In a small bowl, beat egg with buttermilk and set aside.

Sift together flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder into a medium size bowl.  Blend the butter into the flour with a pastry blender or cutter until the mixture is crumbly in texture.  Then loosely sprinkle 1/2 cup of the cheddar into the flour butter blend and toss, making sure that there are no big clumps of cheese.  Continue with this process in 1/2 cup increments until all is evenly distributed.

Pour the buttermilk mixture into the cheese dough.  Fold together ingredients until no dry flour remains. Place dough into prepared pan.  With wet hands, spread dough out in pan so dough is even and covering all corners and sides.

Place pan in oven and bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown.  Loaf is done when tester comes out clean. Remove pan and slide a knife around the edges to loosen.  Let cool in pan for 5 or 6 minutes and then turn out onto cooling rack.  Wait 20 minutes before cutting, otherwise it will be very crumbly.