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Irish Soda Bread and Cheddar Bread Pudding March 9, 2014

Irish Soda Bread Pudding with Cheddar

Posted on March 9, 2014 by 

Soda Bread and Irish Cheddar Bread Pudding w logo

From my other blog, Sassy-Spoon, this bread pudding recipe is a sort of a “two fer”, as it also includes a recipe for really great Irish Soda Bread. Soda Bread does not use yeast, it somewhat resembles a very large biscuit. It is easy to make and you will only use about half of the loaf for this recipe. Try toasting the leftovers with butter and jam.


For the Soda Bread:

2 Cups all-purpose flour + 2 tablespoons for dusting

1 teaspoon baking soda (be sure it is fresh)

1 teaspoon non aluminum baking powder

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

2 Tablespoons chopped dill

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

1 Cup of buttermilk (shake before pouring)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Pudding:

4 large fresh eggs

2 cups whole milk

½ cup of heavy cream

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 cups grated Irish Cheddar Cheese

¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


6 6 ounce ramekins or a 2 quart baking dish


Soda Bread before cooking


Preheat oven to 350°

In a food processor add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Pulse a few times. Add the caraway, pepper and dill, pulse a few more times. Add the buttermilk and butter. Pulse again till it just begins to form a ball.

Place on a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a smooth ball and flatten into a 6 inch flattened round. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. Place on an ungreased baking sheet.

With a very sharp knife, cut an X in the top of the dough about ½ inch deep. This assures even cooking.

Use a small sieve to dust the top with additional flour.

Bake on middle shelf (I also use a baking stone for even heat) for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and a hollow sound is made when tapped.

Cool on a rack. This can be done one day ahead.

Soda Bread


Preheat oven to 350°

Spray the ramekins with olive oil

Cut ½ of the bread into cubes and place them in the ramekins about half way up. Reserve remaining cubes.

Make the custard by whisking the eggs, milk, cream, salt & pepper. Stir in the cheeses. Pour into a pitcher.

bread pudding in water bath

Place the ramekins in a hotel pan or 9 X 13 baking dish, cover the bread with custard, making sure some cheese goes in. Then add additional cubes to the top of the ramekin 3/4 of the way from the top. Pour all of the mixture into the ramekins, filling them to the top. Sprinkle with a little paprika. Add about 2 inches of water to the hotel pan and bake 35-40 minutes. They are finished when a knife is inserted and comes out clean.

Iriish Soda Bread Pudding

Remove from the water and place on a towel or rack and allow to rest for 15 minutes or more.

Share with your favorite leprechauns.

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Pan De Yuca con Mantequilla de Guayaba y Chile: Yuca Bread with Cheese and Guava Chile Butter April 22, 2013

Pan De Yuca con Mantequilla de Guayaba y Chile: Yuca Bread with Cheese and Guava Chile Butter

yuca bread close up

This gluten free recipe is an inspiration by Jose Garces from his fantastic book, The Latin Road Home. He is an Ecuadorian who was raised in Chicago. The book covers foods from Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, Spain & Cuba. This bread is made all over South America, but the recipe varies greatly from country to country.

The Yuca flour is easy to find in most Hispanic Markets, it is often called Casava Flour or Tapioca. The brand I got was Brazilian and reading the label was a challenge. I do read Spanish, but Portuguese, not so much. The ratio of flour to cheese sounds kind of crazy, but it works. Serve the bread hot from the oven for a spongy texture or warm (for a denser interior with the dough settling more and forming air pockets).

yuca bread dough balls


  • 1 cup yucca flour
  • 1 pound queso fresco finely grated
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbs whole milk
  • 1 Tbs butter, melted
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp granulated raw sugar
  • Guava Chile Butter (recipe follows: optional)


yuca bread baked

Preheat oven to 375

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat
  • In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Pulse a few times to combine.
  • Put the cheese in the processor, then mix all of the wet ingredients together and pour into the processor bowl while the blade is going. It will form a ball in about a minute, Take it out of the processor and lay it on a yucca floured surface.  Allow to rest a few minutes
  • Form into a log and cut into 10 equally sized pieces. Roll into balls, These will be slightly larger than a golf ball.
  • Place the balls onto the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or till golden brown

Serve warm. To re-heat place in a 200 degree oven for 6-8 minutes, loosely covered with foil

Yuca bread guava chile butter

Guava Chile Butter


  • 1 21 ounce package or can of guava paste (find at Latin Markets or online)
  • ¼ cup Chinese Black Vinegar
  • ¼ cup Sriracha Sauce
  • 2 Tbs room temperature butter


  • In the bowl of a food processor, place the guava paste.
  • Pulse a few times to loosen it up.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and pulse till incorporated. This can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

I served this with green chile and chicken posole. It would go great with soup, stews, chili or as an appetizer course. I will be sharing the Posole recipe next.



Montreal Bagels May 19, 2010

Filed under: Bread,Food,New York,Photos,Recipes — Devany @ 2:49 am
Tags: , , , ,

Bagels.... hot from the oven

I love bagels. My favorite bagels come from Montreal, not New York. I have actually found that in the last 10 years or so most NY Bagels have taken on the “Supersize me” that has prevailed across America. They are much larger and puffier than they used to be and I believe that they have less texture and crumb In Montreal the bagels are still baked in the simple old fashioned way that they were made in Poland. The secret of course is simplicity. They are baked in a wood burning oven there, but this can be replicated somewhat using a baking stone or hearth insert like I use. The recipe is below for you to use as you wish.

I think you will enjoy this video about my favorite bagel bakery in Montreal.

Montreal bagels, however, are a different breed, chewy and tinged with a tantalizing sweetness. The real thing is still baked in wood ovens, which give the bagels an irregularly charred outer surface. These bagels shine, too, with a gloss that only a short swim in a bath of honey- or malt-sweetened water can impart. With no chemical additives or dough conditioners, these bagels stand out in taste and looks.

Bagel Toss!!!!

How bagels came to be this way in Montreal is difficult to determine. The recipe was no doubt modeled after the those brought by immigrant families, many of whom opened bagel stores that still exist in the old ethnic neighborhoods. Over time, Montrealers came to enjoy – and expect -bagels in this style, so the tradition continued.

Some people have another explanation. They point out that other cities prohibit wood-burning commercial ovens, because of the fire hazard. Such ovens burn continuously with an unregulated open flame -you can’t turn them off, and you can’t turn them down. So Montreal has the dubious distinction of having notable bagels and a less-than-stringent fire code.

Bagels are one of those foods that have a certain mystique about them. Because they are readily available in most every city now, people just buy them and never think about making them. However, if you have had TRULY amazing bagels like these before, baked in this style, you will find it nearly impossible to find them anywhere other than Montreal and hence you must make them at home or increase your frequent flyer miles many times over. I have to say that before I started making them myself, every trip to Montreal included a suitcase for the bagels I would run out to St. Viateur Bakery and buy fresh from  the morning of our departure. If you live on the mainland, you can order them online from St. Viateur. Technology is amazing, really. But if you live in Hawaii like me, you are going to have to learn to make them, do without or drop by on baking day.

One note about sweeteners: Professional bakers once relied on honey, since it carries its own characteristic bouquet. Over the years, the price of honey has increased, so now many bakeries use light or dark malt syrup (available in some health-food stores and in those that stock beer-making supplies). Still, you should use honey in the formula and then add the malt syrup to the water.



Preparation time: 45 minutes Cooking time: 25 minutes but I find the flavor is better if you retard the fermenting process by refrigerating the dough. If you want to take this extra step, make  the dough at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours before you plan on baking them.

Baking on the stone


1 1/2 cups water, room temperature

2 packages dry quick-rising yeast (or 1 1/2 ounces fresh yeast)

1 teaspoon sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup honey

5 cups or more flour (preferably bread flour)

3 quarts water for boiling

1/3 cup honey or malt syrup

Sesame or poppy seeds for sprinkling on top. These are the only toppings seen in Montreal, but of course if you like onions or garlic or anything else, they can be added instead of the seeds or in combination with them.


1.In a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of an electric mixer that has a dough hook, blend together the water, yeast, sugar and salt. Stir in the whole egg, the yolk, oil and 1/2 cup honey, and mix well.

2.Add the 5 cups flour, and mix until the dough is too stiff to mix by hand. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface (if using electric mixer, attach dough hook), and knead to form a soft, supple dough. Add a bit more flour as needed to prevent dough from getting too sticky. It should be tacky, but not sticky.

3.When the dough is smooth and elastic, place it in a lightly oiled bowl, and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap or with a plastic bag.

4.Let the dough rest about 20 minutes. Punch it down, and divide into 18 equal portions. Pour the water into a large pot, along with the remaining 1/3 cup honey or malt syrup, and heat to boiling. Cover, reduce the heat, and allow to simmer while preparing the bagels.

5.Shape the dough portions into bagels or doughnutlike rings by elongating each portion into an 8- to 10-inch coil that is 3/4 inch thick. Fold the ends over each other, pressing with the palm of one hand and rolling back and forth gently to seal. This locks the ends together and must be done properly or the bagels will open while being boiled. Let the bagels rest 15 minutes on a baking sheet with parchment or silpat.

6.Preheat oven to 550 degrees. If you have a pizza stone pre-heat it in the oven.  Bring the water back to a boil and remove the lid. Have bowls of poppy seeds and sesame seeds nearby.

7.When the water is boiling, use a slotted spoon, and add three bagels to the water. As they rise to the surface, turn them over, and let them boil an additional minute before removing them and quickly apply the seeds or other toppings. Continue boiling the bagels in batches of three until all have been boiled and seeded.

8.Just before baking, turn the temperature down to 450 degrees. Arrange the boiled bagels on a baking sheet, and bake on the lowest rack of oven until they are medium brown, approximately 25 minutes. Or using a peel covered with semolina, place the bagels directly onto a pre-heated pizza stone and bake in batches. Allow the oven to regain some of the temperature lost before adding the 2nd batch. Remove from the oven. Once cooled, the bagels can be placed in a plastic bag, sealed and frozen.

Poppy Seed!

Yield: 18 bagels. NOTE: If not using the dough immediately, refrigerate it after it has been kneaded. Bagel making can be resumed up to a day later. Allow the dough to return to room temperature, and continue with step 4.



Pizza Night May 15, 2010

Filed under: Bread,Food,New York,Pizza,Pizza,Recipes,Seasonal,Vegetables — Devany @ 6:06 pm

Pepperoni and Mushroom Pizza

Of course pizza is everywhere in New York… well all over America really, but there is lots of really great pizza in New York. None better than the kind you can make at home if you have the right tools and make the dough properly.  Tools: You need a pizza stone, a peel and a very wide spatula. You also need an oven that heats up to at least 500 degrees, 550 is even better. Sorry efficiency people, you must have a real oven, not a toaster oven.  I like to make smallish pizzas, about 10″ across. They are perfect for parties because you can have a multitude of toppings and experiment a bit. They are also just the right size for one or two people with a salad.

Margarita pizza with home made fresh mozzarella

I make the dough over night and then freeze the extra dough (this formula makes a large batch of dough) for later use. Next time you think you might want pizza, take the dough out and defrost in the refrigerator overnight. Here is the formula for the dough:

Overnight Pizza Dough

The dough gets its slightly tangy flavor from a “sponge” (a mixture of warm water, yeast, and flour that’s allowed to ferment). Timing note: The sponge needs to rest overnight; the dough needs to rest for about eight hours. If you freeze excess dough, allow to thaw slowly over night, then remove from the refrigerator about 2 hours before using.  Allow the dough to rise another time before using.

makes eight 9-inch pizzas




  • 1 cup lukewarm water (110°F to 115°F)
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast, divided
  • 1 cup all purpose flour, divided


  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water (110°F to 115°F)
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 6 cups (or more) bread flour
  • Olive oil
  • Semolina or cornmeal
  • Sauces and toppings

special equipment

  • Pizza stone, wooden peel or rimless cooking sheet.



  • Place 1 cup lukewarm water in large bowl of heavy-duty mixer (or you can do this by hand if you are feeling strong.) Sprinkle 1 teaspoon yeast (reserve remaining yeast for dough) and 1/4 teaspoon flour over water. Let stand until yeast dissolves and mixture looks spongy, about 4 minutes. Add remaining flour and whisk until smooth; scrape down sides of bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let sponge rest at room temperature in draft-free area overnight (about 12 hours; sponge will look bubbly).


  • Add 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 envelope yeast, and remaining yeast to sponge, then add 6 cups flour, 1 cup at a time, beating with dough hook to blend after each addition. Continue to beat until dough is smooth, comes cleanly away from sides of bowl, and is only slightly sticky to touch, scraping down bowl occasionally, about 5 minutes. If dough is very sticky, beat in more flour, 1/4 cupful at a time. Scrape dough onto floured surface; knead into smooth ball.
  • Brush inside of large bowl with oil. Add dough; turn to coat with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; chill 6 hours, kneading dough down when doubled (after 2 hours).
  • About 1 1/2 hours before baking, dust 2 baking sheets with flour. Turn dough out onto floured surface. Knead gently; shape into 16-inch log. Cut into 8 equal pieces. Knead each piece into smooth ball. Arrange 4 balls of dough on each sheet. Cover loosely with kitchen towels and let rise until almost doubled, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
  • If using pizza stone, place in oven and pre-heat.
  • Preheat oven to 500°F for 40 minutes to an hour, the longer the better. Working with 1 dough ball at a time, dust dough with flour. Press into 5-inch round, then gently stretch and roll out to 9- 10 inch round.
  • Dough on the peel ready to be topped

  • Sprinkle a pizza peel or rimless baking sheet with semolina or cornmeal . Place the pizza dough on the semolina.  Top as desired, it is much better to use a light hand with toppings, especially if you want your crust crispy. Slide pizza onto  the pre-heated stone. Be careful when putting your pizza in and removing it, making sure to hold the peel as level as possible to prevent sliding of ingredients in the oven, or you may find yourself with “a fine mess”.
  • Sauced


  • Bake pizza until sauce is bubbling and crust is crisp and brown, lifting edge of pizza to check underside, about 10-12  minutes. Try to resist opening the oven too frequently, you want it inferno hot! When the pizza is done, take a large spatula or a metal peel and remove it quickly to a cutting board. Allow the pizza to rest a few minute before slicing. Wait at least 10 minutes for the oven to regain the temperature and then put the next pizza in.
Fried Capers

Fried capers add a nice crunch and some salty flavor.

Tomatoes and Sauce

Tomatoes and Sauce


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