Let us keep our Holiday breakfast simple and delicious, shall we? Today I am going to share with you my favorite way to use Egg Nog. Let me introduce you to Double Cheese Eggnog Soda Bread. A soda bread so easy and simple you would want to make it over and over again.
I have a confession to make, not necessary but I would like to confess anyway. I cannot stand Egg Nog. Say what??? Yes, I cannot stand drinking Egg Nog on its own. Egg Nog is not something we have when I was growing up, in fact, I only knew of it when I moved here to Canada. Frankly, I find it it quite weird drinking egg and milk but I did try it anyway. I am was not surprised at all that I did not like it. Surprisingly, I found out the I can actually tolerate Egg Nog if I used for baked products, and so that is what I had been doing instead. I’ve used in my Oatmeal, cookie, scones and bread. This post is about Egg Nog Soda Bread. Let’s get to it.
Traditional vs. Non Traditional Irish Soda Bread
I am not a traditionalist, I like making my own version and I love adding twist to food that I make. I encourage myself to be creative, to think out of the box and to make baking activity fun and a creative process. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like classic recipes, I do. Classic recipes are timeless and are foundation to creating something new. Classic recipes and traditional recipes are the basis of most of my own variation, this Soda Bread included. I opted to make a savory variation because I had been having sweet overload lately with all the Holiday treats, but I am thinking of making a sweet version of this Egg Nog Soda Bread soon.
Traditional or Classic Irish Soda Bread uses down to very basic ingredients like flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk. Then there’s the non-traditional version like this recipe which uses additional ingredients like butter, sugar, egg and cheese, almost like a Scone. I’ve made both version several times, I actually started with the traditional version and I never had a luck in getting the texture and taste that I want. It turned out dense no matter how gentle I handled it, it was bland and dry. I don’t know how the traditional or authentic Irish Soda Bread taste like so don’t have anywhere to compare it to, but one thing I know I was not happy with what I had produced so far. I almost decided to give up on it after making it twice, but then I thought I should give it another try. Baking really thought me a lot about being patience and determination. So, I gave it a 3rd try but I did modifications with the hope that I will get it the way I want it. I went for the non-traditional version of adding butter, sugar, egg and dried fruits. Guess what? It worked like magic! The bread turned out perfect more than I could imagine.
What to expect from my version of Soda Bread
This bread at least have the traditional and classic Soda Bread look, the outer shell was crusty and crunchy (just like how I expect it to be). I like the sound it created when I tapped or scratch the surface, it has that crunchy sound. The inside was soft and moist, it’s not a butter as regular scones or biscuit, its more like a bread texture in some way. It was not sweet at all, but sometimes I add 1 tablespoon of sugar more on days that I like it to be sweeter. My favorite part was the bottom of the bread as well as the outer crust, it has a nice crunch, the texture was amazing, the soft texture of the inside gave a nice contrast to the crunchy texture of the outside. If you are wondering if there is a trace of the Egg Nog taste, non really. Not sure if that is a good or bad thing for you, but it worked for me.
Tips for a Successful Soda Bread
- Measure baking soda properly: The main leavening agent of this bread is the baking soda. Since this is a quick bread, meaning no yeast needed, the baking soda + buttermilk is the key to having a soft crusty and rustic looking bread. Do the spoon level technique when measuring the ingredients. To much baking soda can make the bread taste acidic and can have the tendency to turn the color of your bread “greenish”, we don’t want a green looking rustic bread! SO measure well, and mix well.
- No Kneading: This is your opportunity to make a lovely looking rustic bread without kneading and waiting for it to rise, so grab that chance! All this bread needs is gentle mixing and light touch just to form the dough into a disk. Don’t bother making it smooth, we want it to look rustic. The rougher it look, the better.
- Hot and always close oven: Always pre-heat your oven, just like making biscuits, hot oven is a must to have the puff-up and rustic looking bread. Although it is always tempting to open the oven to check the bread, avoid doing that. Closed oven all-through out the baking will create a rustic and lovely brown crust, which is totally worth the wait. Opening the oven will let the steam and heat escape and can deflate the bread.
- Use of add-on ingredients: If you want to add dried fruits, feel free to do so. I suggest that you soak the dried fruits (raisins or cranberry) in water and honey whatever dried fruits you are using before adding it to the dry ingredients. Dried fruits have a tendency to absorb moisture of the liquid when added into the mixture. This means that it will compete with the dry ingredients and it could absorb the moisture that is supposed to be for the flour, resulting to a dry soda dough. Soaking it in water will soften the dried fruits and at the same time will make it moist even when it is baked.
There you go, few tips to remember. Let’s put it to use and let’s get started!
- 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1 tablespoon Sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 3/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Paprika
- 2 tablespoon cold Butter – cut into cubes
- 1/4 cup Cheddar Cheese
- 1/4 cup Asiago Cheese
- 1 Egg – refrigerated
- 1/3 cup cold Egg Nog
- Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Line small cookie sheet with parchment paper or dust iron skillet with flour. Set aside while you make the dough.
- Mix dry ingredients: In a medium size bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter with a fork or large cheese grater (or with your fingers) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the cheese and mix to combine.
- Mix wet ingredients: Mix egg nog and beaten egg. Set aside 1 tablespoon for brushing the top.
- Mix wet and dry ingredients: Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Use a sturdy spoon to mix the ingredients.
- Shape the Bread: Transfer in a floured surface and using your hands Divide the dough into 4 pieces and shape them into balls. DO NOT knead, just gather the dough together to form it. You don’t also need to make the surface smooth, uneven surface if fine. It will look more rustic once baked. Sprinkle top with flour to give the bread a rustic look we all love.
- Mark the Bread: With a sharp knife, cut a 1/4-inch deep cross on top of the dough. Transfer into cookie sheet or cast iron pan. Brush top with leftover egg nog mixture.
- Let it rest: Let sit for 15 minutes in the refrigerator. You can also wrap it with plastic wrap and leave it overnight in the refrigerator for baking the following day. Fantastic make-ahead freshly baked breakfast.
- Bake it: Bake 25 – 30 minutes, or until dough is just cooked through and the top is a light golden brown.
Makes 4 pieces
Enjoy! If you make this, share and tag me in Instagram #SweetNSpicyLiving. I would like to see your creations too.
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