Once in a while it's 4:30 in the afternoon and I decide I want fresh bread for dinner. On those occasions, there is only one solution: an Irish soda bread. A few years ago I discovered a delicious version printed on a bag of Bob's Red Mill Whole Wheat Flour. It had the funny title of "Swope Bread" and fit the time frame: ready-to-eat in under 90 minutes AND I have all the ingredients on hand about 90% of the time. (The only change I made to the recipe is to use brown sugar instead of white.) The ratio of whole wheat to white flour and a little extra sugar than is usually used in Irish soda breads makes this a little more special. Baking it in a loaf pan also makes it easier to slice.
It was Sunday; the starter was refreshed and ready. What to bake? For fun, I decided to see how the main ingredients for "Swope Bread" would translate to a starter-leavened loaf.
2 c ww flour
1c bread flour
14 oz. Pete's Starter
3/4 c low fat buttermilk
1 tsp salt
brown sugar (I think I wanted to use 1/4 c but used 1/2 c by mistake)
*since this was going to be leavened with starter, I omitted the baking soda from the master recipe*
Mixing and Method/Results
Using a stand mixer, combine wet with dry ingredients and add a little extra flour (I used a little extra ww) to make a kneadable dough. Use the bread hook and knead for about three minutes. Let rise as usual, shape into one large loaf and bake as you like. I baked this in one of my fish poachers which I had preheated with the lid at 425F . It was done in about 30 minutes, but because the dough had so much sugar in it, it was darker on the bottom than I usually like. I should have baked it at about 400F or lower, and maybe left it in about 5 minutes longer.
This yielded about a 2# loaf (I forgot to record the exact weight). I just trimmed off the dark bottom crust. It was a little too sweet for what I was trying to achieve. Next time I will only use 1/4 c brown sugar per two cups of ww flour, and I think I'll see what happens if I add 2 tsp soda to this, and maybe some extra buttermilk powder since there is so much water in the starter.
Still, no one complained, and this loaf went so quickly I only had part of the loaf left to photograph.