Irish Soda Bread

I began my adventures in bread baking this afternoon, making the first recipe in my "Bread Illustrated" cookbook, or what I call "Bread Baking For Dummies".

It has step-by-step pictures to go along with all the recipes! I felt as though the authors were holding my hand through the whole process saying, "Okay, do this . . . now do that . . . here's how you knead . . . quit taking so many pictures and focus on the task at hand!"

Okay, maybe they didn't really say that last sentence, but the instructions were written clearly and were easy to follow.

The book is divided into three sections, easy, intermediate and hard, and the first recipe in the easy section happened to be Irish Soda Bread, and because I'm making chicken noodle soup tonight for supper, I thought that would be perfect to go along with it. 

So, I whisked and folded and kneaded and shaped and slashed the dough with a knife, baby talked the mound of dough as I put it in the hot oven, baby talked it some more halfway through when it was time to rotate the pan, and hey! I wound up with a loaf of Irish Soda Bread!

Most of all, Joe likes it! Win-Win!