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Cast Iron Baked Irish Soda Bread

There has been a shortage in some stores of yeast. Several people have been posting that they can’t find yeast in their local stores due to the Coronavirus. One such poster shared her favorite recipe for Irish soda bread which does not require yeast. The recipe calls for baking soda for the leavening in the bread rather than regular yeast.

I heard good reviews on this bread and set out to bake some myself. Of course, I love to bake in my little 6 inch cast iron skillet so I modified the recipe to fit into my original No. 3 cast iron pan.

Irish Soda Bread Baked in Cast Iron

I baked my Irish soda bread using the recipe from Gemma’s Bigger Bolder Baking site. To achieve the right amount of bread to bake in my cast iron pan, I cut the recipe in half. I also found that I didn’t need as much milk as called for so do be careful not to add too much milk as you make your dough ball.

Irish soda bread before baking.
Irish Soda Bread before baking

The Irish soda bread rose very nicely and I baked it the initial 15 minutes at 425 F degrees and then about 18-19 minutes at 400 F. Halfing the recipe provided for just the right amount of bread for two generous servings for my husband and I. I served my Irish soda bread along with a bowl of homemade stew. The heavier Irish soda bread went well with our stew meal.

Overall I love the idea of using alternate yeast sources especially during these times of shortages that we are facing. Another alternate to regular bread yeast is wild sourdough yeast. Here is my wild sourdough starter directions. Anyone can make wild sourdough yeast at home. It is made by capturing wild yeast from the air and creating a natural sourdough yeast starter.

Check out my posts on these recipes and other useful ideas Continue Reading →

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Mini Cast Iron Cornbread

Here is a new cast iron cornbread idea that I want to share. I frequently need just a small batch of cornbread as I am generally just cooking for two. Using my vintage #3 cast iron skillet is just the right sized pan for cornbread for two. My old #3 cast iron skillet is nearly 7 inches wide. Official size stamped on the bottom says 6-5/8 inches.
Cornbread in Cast-Iron #3

I used a small recipe of cornbread and filled my cast iron skillet about 3/4 of the way full and then baked at 400 degrees for about 15-16 minutes. Watch for the light browning before Continue Reading →

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Defrosting Food on the Woodstove

Here is one more tip for woodstove users. I needed to defrost some frozen food and recently used my woodstove. Here is a photo of my frozen container which I placed into a pan with water on the woodstove.

Defrosting Food on a Woodstove

My fire in the woodstove was burning low so I used the front lower level on the woodstove. If your fire is burning hot, use the back shelf and watch your pan closely. As my frozen container was plastic, you do need to pay close attention that the plastic doesn’t get too hot. Watch your water too so it doesn’t boil down which could cause the plastic to get too hot also.

I hope you find this useful idea of defrosting on a woodstove a good alternative to defrosting in a microwave or on a conventional stovetop. It sames energy and is a handy way to defrost food.

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Grilled Sandwich on the Woodstove

Power out and want a grilled sandwich? No problem, just grab your cast iron skillet and put it on the woodstove.
Grilled Sandwich on the Woodstove

Here is a closeup of the ham and cheese sandwich grilling nicely on the woodstove top.
Grilled Cheese Sandwich

You might of noticed the handmade skillet handle cover. This handle cover is crocheted from an old tee-shirt. Full pattern directions found here for the cast iron handle cover. These handcrafted handle covers work great on cast iron pots and skillets. I love that you can just leave the handle cover on as you cook in the pan.

So should you find yourself out of power as we did today, you can always grill up a nice and hot sandwich on your woodstove top. Even if the power isn’t out, this is an useful idea for anyone wanting to try their hand at woodstove cooking.

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Dutch Oven Sourdough Bread

Making sourdough starter was the first step in baking my Dutch Oven sourdough bread. Follow the link and you can see how I made my own sourdough starter for my bread.
Sourdough Bread Starter

Dough raised and ready to bake.
Sourdough Bread in Dutch Oven

I played around with several recipes to come up with my own version of Dutch Oven sourdough bread.
Here is my recipe: Continue Reading →

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Homemade Applesauce

I got this big bag of apples from one of the guys at work from a tree that fell down in town. He asked me if I wanted some of the apples and of course I said yes. Some had worm holes but I cut them up this weekend and made applesauce. It turned out tasty and made 4 pints.

Homemade Applesauce in a jar

First I cut up the apples and placed them in a big pot.
Cut up Apples for Sauce

Add added a bit of white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, apple cider vinegar and some apple juice for cooking. I added just a splash of each and added more sugar to sweeten as it cooked down.
Homemade Applesauce Cooking

Really simple process and I got some free applesauce. I didn’t really have a recipe but that is the point. Just cut up the apples and add some goodies for taste as it cooks.

Final result: Wonderful tasting free applesauce!

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