|Irish Soad Bread made with Kamut flour and raisins|
Soda bread is fast, foolproof and always rewarding. The pleasure of a slice of plain soda bread all toasty and warm is exceeded only by a slice with butter and jam.
I’ve been making soda bread — traditional as well as gussied up versions — for years. I thought this Baking with Julia recipe by Marion Cunningham was a good time to try a grain that’s new to me: Kamut khorasan wheat.
This is not your typical wheat, but an old-country relative of the everyday variety. Kamut is not the type of wheat, but a registered brand the company says guarantees certain attributes of this special wheat.
And what are the special attributes? Not only are the grains significantly larger than that of regular wheat, but they carry more nutrients. This is according to plant scientist Robert M. Quinn whose family developed the wheat from a few grains that hitched a ride from Egypt after World War II. If you follow this link to Quinn’s paper, you can read the wheat’s interesting history.
Because Kamut is not particularly high maintenance when it comes to cultivation and thus is quite suitable for sustainable agriculture. It produces a high quality harvest without reliance on chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
As for flavor, it bakes up sweeter than traditional whole wheat flour, which as you know can be a tad bitter. Kamut is said to be more easily digested than common wheat, though it does indeed contain gluten and should not be consumed by persons with celiac disease.
It made a fine soda bread. I followed Marion Cunningham’s recipe, substituting whole Kamut flour for all purpose. I also added a handful of raisins soaked in orange juice.
If you’d like to see the recipe, visit our hosts’ blogs: Cathy of My Culinary Mission and Carla of Chocolate Moosey. Check back on April 3 for the next Tuesdays with Dorie recipe.