The Japanese LOVE bread and my Japanese wife is no exception.  To a foreigner it seems strange that bread would play such a large role in a society focused on rice that ostensibly has such a short history of bread making.  Nevertheless, bread and its progeny are (t)here to stay.  As a tribute to the Japanese love of bread (and my love of my wife for whom I woke up early to make this bread for breakfast) I have  Irish Bread...Yum!
taken this recipe from a Japanese book written by Fujita Chiaki entitled Quick Bread.  I was a bit skeptical using a non-North American baking book because of the regional differences in flour production and dairy products, but this recipe worked out well and tasted delicious – especially at 8am!

The ingredients for this recipe are:

  • 150g all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1/3 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 20g of cold butter (diced in small pieces)
  • 45g/3 tablespoons of sour cream
  • 1/2 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of milk

Right!  Down an espresso and get down to work!  Take the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder and sift them together in a bowl.  Throw in the butter with these ingredients and combine it by rubbing the butter inthe powdery mixture between your thumb, index finger, and middle finger.  The motion is like you’re feeling the texture of a fiber.  After a few minutes the butter will all but “disappear” into the powdery mixture and the contents of the bowl will look sandy. 

Next, add the sour cream and mix it in – I like to do this with a fork.  Then, combine the half egg and milk, and add them to the mixture.  Kneed the ingredients together just until all the ingredients are combined (and no longer). 

Form your lovely loaf into a sphere and then push it flat.  Slash an “X” across the top of your loaf.  Then put it on a wax paper lined-baking tray and into an over preheated at 180 degrees Celsius/350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-35 minutes.  By now, your bread should be nice and golden on the outside.  Wait for it to cool, but not too much ’cause we all love warm bread, and then serve with herb butter or just regular butter.  What a great way to start a day!