Saturday, January 1, 2022

The Postmaster And The Panettone

The first thing I'd like to point out is that this is NOT a panettone. Did I want to be posting a picture of a panettone that I'd baked for the holiday. Of course I did, but I didn't. And there lies a tale.

Early in December I was contacted by the folks at the  Paradise Candied Fruit Company. They asked me if I'd like to sample some of their products for use in my holiday baking. It's not hard to tempt someone raised in an Italian-centric home to use candied fruit at Christmastime. Not hard at all, and their product looked so delicious I immediately started planning a gorgeous Christmas Panettone that would have made my nonna proud. I had a recipe I was eager to try and now... candied fruit!!!!!

I went on the hunt for a  panettone baking mold, a large corrugated almost cupcake-like wrapper that the bread would bake in, sort of like a cupcake paper on steroids.                                                     

So I immediately leapt to my computer and ordered some baking molds. The USPS promised they'd be here soon. Uh......that's when  the trouble started. They were shipped December 12th , supposedly arriving in a few days. The few days stretched into a couple of weeks. I'm still waiting. The tracking number tells me yeah, they're in the system somewhere, just not where I am. 

The mail is super slow, and not just because of holidays and covid. It's slow because of changes made at the top by this guy...

"Yeah, I got your dog's flea medicine, your cargo pants, your holiday lights, those extra batteries AND your panettone molds. Whattya gonna do about it?"

That's kind of how I imagine it. Either way I don't have my stuff, everything comes late and as for the paper molds well, they're out there somewhere.    

I felt badly about not getting to use all this gorgeous candied fruit, and I'd always wait the extra day to bake because I'd been told, it's coming tomorrow, or today. I don't believe them any more so that's why I baked some soda bread.

I enjoy baking soda bread, stuffed with currants and orange zest. It takes next to no time, uses minimal ingredients, and is gobbled up so fast there's not much left over. Easy. It seemed like the perfect emergency vehicle for  holiday candied fruit. My recipe for soda bread is not "mine." It's just the recipe for soda bread. There are probably others but this is the one I've always had, and I have no idea who came up with it. Leprechauns maybe? Either way, if you have baking soda, flour, salt, and buttermilk you can make this in less than an hour for your breakfast or snacking pleasure.

Soda Bread With Candied Fruit

Here's What You Need:

 NOTE: Ever since I started watching the Great British Bake Off I've started using grams as measures. It's far more accurate .

350 grams all purpose flour  (2 and 1/2 cups)

1 and 1/2 tsps salt

1 tsp baking soda

285 ml buttermilk  (9.6 oz)

1/2 cup of chopped Paradise Candied Fruit  (i used red and green cherries for that holiday color)

Here's What To Do:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees 

Dust your baking sheet with a bit of flour.

Mix all the dry ingredients together well, then add in the buttermilk and chopped candied fruit.

Stir it all together into a ball of dough. If you need to add extra buttermilk, or a bit of flour do so.

Knead the dough a bit to form a good sized ball.

Put it on the baking sheet and cut a deep cross through it, almost cutting all the way through the dough. This allows a proper bake so that the dough can stretch and expand. However, if you ask the Irish, traditionally it was to warn the Devil to keep his mitts off the bread, as well as the house, and all who live it it.

I usually dust the top of the dough with a bit of flour before it goes in to bake. 

Bake for 30 minutes.

Take the dough out and enjoy your soda bread with a nice mug of  hot tea or coffee.

So there it is, holiday soda bread. Delicious! Thanks to the good people at  Paradise Fruit Company for letting me sample their wares, more to follow! Hopefully my molds will come soon so that I can show you all a lovely panettone, and if it  doesn't show up in time, a Focaccia della Befana for  Little Christmas aka The Epiphany, aka Jan 6th. That's if my pearl sugar which is sprinkled on top shows up in time. It's in transit right now, hopefully not traveling in the same truck as those panettone molds.

Coming up next more post holiday adventures in food. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori

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