Irish Potato Bread
- Yield 16 servings
In Ireland, boxty, practically a national dish, can be served as a potato pancake, a dumpling, or even as here: a crunchy, irresistible soda bread.
Great for breakfast with smoked salmon, for lunch with hearty soup, or for dinner with a roast, this easy, yeast-free bread demonstrates why the Emerald Isle loves the spud so much.
- 2 (3/4-pound) russet potatoes
- 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg white
- 1/3 cup canola oil, plus additional for greasing the baking sheet
- 3/4 cup fat-free milk
- 2 tablespoons minced chives (or the green part of a scallion)
- 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting and kneading
- 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Bring 1 inch of water to a boil over high heat in a vegetable steamer or a large saucepan fitted with a portable vegetable steamer. Peel one potato and cut into eighths; steam the pieces until tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes. Rice or mash pieces in a large bowl; set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
- Position the rack in the center of the oven; preheat the oven to 375F. Lightly oil a large baking sheet with canola oil dabbed on a paper towel.
- Peel the other potato and grate it through the large holes of a box grater. Squeeze of any excess moisture; add to the riced or mashed potatoes.
- Stir in the egg, egg white, oil, milk, chives, and caraway seeds until fairly smooth. Add 3 1/4 cups flour, baking powder, and salt; stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a soft but sticky dough.
- Lightly flour a clean work surface as well as your cleaned and dried hands. Turn the dough out onto the floured surface and knead for 1 minute, adding flour in 1-tablespoon increments to keep the dough from turning too sticky. Too much flour and the dough turns tough; it should remain a little tacky but workable. Shape into an 8-inch circle, flatten slightly keeping the loaf mounded at its center, and place on the prepared baking sheet. Use a sharp knife to slash an X in the top of the dough, cutting into dough about 1/2 inch.
- Bake until golden brown, firm to the touch, and somewhat hollow sounding when tapped, about 55 minutes. Cool 1 hour on a wire rack before slicing and serving. Makes 1 large loaf (16 slices).