During a recent Google+ Hangout on Air, I was demonstrating how to make Irish Soda Bread when my friend Jennifer Field of Pastry Chef Online suggested I share one of the things I do with leftover soda bread. On the occasion where there’s ample supply on hand, as was the case this year, I’ll find ways to use the bread in an effort to; 1.) Retain interest in consuming the bread while it’s at its freshest best, or 2.) Revitalize it just as its prime begins to decline. These are skills parents of young children must utilize in order to thwart the wrinkled noses which appear when the same dish is presented with frequency over a short duration.
Case in point: My youngest exclaimed to me the other day after toasting caraway seeds for the eighth time for the eighth loaf of bread, “Dad, I don’t like toasted caraway seeds. It smells like burnt rosemary!” My eyes glazed over for a private quandary. On one hand I questioned how she knew what burnt rosemary smelled like. On the other hand I wondered if I should acknowledge that she had been enjoying the seeds in the soda bread for breakfast the past couple of days—the same soda bread she declared as, “Divine!”
I kept quiet.
Of course a nice slice of toasted soda bread with butter melting into the nooks and crannies is always delightful. Add a couple of poached eggs on top and the interest meter spikes. Sometimes though, a simple slice of bread glossed over with a smear of marmalade takes the edge off hunger until the next meal period. These are all fabulous ways to use a loaf of Irish soda bread.
Jennifer’s reference, however, about sharing with the viewers how I use leftover soda bread wasn’t any of the above.
The hit of hits, the one dish that brings glee to the family breakfast table, is