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Monday, February 28, 2011

Spotted Dog





From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...If my mail is any indication, many of you are curious as to how the English version of Irish soda bread came to be called Spotted Dog. Surprisingly, no one seems to know for sure. My research came up with a lot of guesses, some educated, others not. We know for certain that a staple of old English kitchens was a steamed pudding that, when made with raisins, was called a Spotted Dick. While many are offended by the name, linguists seem to agree that it really was derived from the word pudding. According to Dex at The Straight Dope, over the course of time, pudding became puddink, puddink became puddick and puddick , finally shortened, became dick. Fortunately, there was another version of the pudding whose name could offend no one. It was made with plums and suet and it was called a Spotted Dog. Why? From this point forward all the information you receive will be the product of my, as yet, undocumented imagination.













The pudding, and later the bread of the same name, bear spots like those found on a Dalmatian. Looking at these photos I have no trouble understanding why the bread, too, was called Spotted Dog. I personally think Dalmation Bread would have been a better, more expressive name, but then no one ever listens to me and, as a result, we still have these awkward language situations that must be dealt with. More's the pity :-). Today's recipe is for an embellished Irish soda bread. It contains raisins and caraway seeds, but it is less rich than many of the versions that are popular today. I like to view it as a historical footnote that falls somewhere between yesterday's wholemeal bread and the lovely cake-like loaf that Ina Garten makes here. Here's the recipe for those of you who are curious.


Spotted Dog...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
Ingredients:
4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons caraway seeds
1 cup golden raisins
1-3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions:
1) Place rack in middle of oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Butter and Flour a large baking sheet. Set aside.
2) Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Whisk in sugar, caraway seeds and raisins. Add buttermilk and stir until dough is moistened, but still lumpy.
3) Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead with floured hands until dough is less sticky but still soft, about 8 times. Divide dough into two pieces and form each piece into a ball. Pat each ball into a domed 6-inch round on prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 4-inches apart. Cut a large 1/2-inch deep x in top of each loaf with a sharp knife or razor blade. Brush both loaves with melted butter.
4) Bake until golden brown and bottom of loaves sound hollow when tapped, about 35 to 45 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 2 hours before slicing. Yield: 2 6-inch loaves.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Chocolate Soda Bread - Real Epicurean
Browned Butter Soda Bread - Vanilla Sugar
Authentic Irish Soda Bread - Confessions of a Kitchen Witch
Oat Soda Bread - 101 Cookbooks
Irish Soda Bread - The English Kitchen
Brown Bread - David Lebovitz
Soda Bread - Farmersgirl Kitchen
Irish Soda Bread Scones - Brown Eyed Baker
Irish Soda Bread Scones - Smitten Kitchen
Caraway Soda Bread - Simply Recipes
Oats and Honey Irish Soda Bread with Raisins - Baking Bites

This post is being linked to:
Smiling Sally - Blue Monday

77 comments:

Alessandra said...

I remember eating lots of spotted dick when I was living in England, but I never sen a spotted dog. I certainly like the name better, and also nice to have like bread, with butter (spotted dick was always warm with custard, and I didn't like that).

Have a great week

ciao
Alessandra

Candace said...

Your posts are always so informative. I have never heard soda bread called spotted dog. I absolutely love Irish Soda Bread. Yum! Have a great week, Candace

Asteri said...

Delicius
Cheers

MaryMoh said...

Haha...I love how you place the picture of your bread beside the picture of that spotted dog. They do look similar :D Lovely loaf. Hope you have a wonderful day.

Ana Rita said...

Hummmmm...i enjoyed knowing a litle bit more about this bread and the soda one, in the last post...
This bread i like more, is more my kind of sweet bread....I'm temptend in trying...

Have a nice day!

Kiss,
rita

Hélia said...

It looks really good, but I don't like raisins! ;)

Have a nice day

Kisses

Hélia

Ana Powell said...

Great information, your work is always so carefully planned, well done ♥

CaThY said...

Nice bread! ;)

Koek! said...

I'm with you on 'dalmation bread' :-)

Suman Singh said...

This one look so great..I look forward to making it myself at some point..thanks for sharing! Have a nice day ahead! tk care!

Bichinha said...

It looks delicious. Another recipe to do as soon as possible, i just love raisins in bread. Sometimes i eat a german bread with raisins and it's so good!

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

My family always said that English food has funny names. I can't believe there is something called Spotted Dick! I much prefer Spotted dog..

The Sweetylicious said...

that's so cute! (: and it look delicious! (:

Umm Mymoonah said...

I was not big fan of this spotted dog until I saw your recipe, looks really great.

Su said...

Hello Mary,
Just to let you know that I just loved your blog :)
And this recipe looks wonderfull.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Most interesting... have to admit, some of those names don't inspire you to want to run right out and try them. LOL! Blessings ~ Tanna

The Blonde Duck said...

Queen Bitty approves!

foodie and the chef said...

My great grandmother (now 102 y.o.) used to make this - looks scrumptious.

From the Kitchen said...

Hi Miz Mary: For a minute, I thought that was a picture of me. Actually it looks more like my departed brother, Argos. He was a liver-spotted boy. I'm going to pass this recipe on to my mistress. Maybe she'll make it and give me a bite.

Your spotted friend,
Oliver

Kim said...

I really like your other version of Irish bread. So true that the bread looks like a dalmatian... I suspect that you listened to too much Walt Disney movies:) Anyway, this bread looks really good!

bellini valli said...

No matter what it is called it would be welcome at my table slathered in butter.

Lori said...

Franky I like the name Spotted Dog way better than Spotted Dick. And really I would love to eat this right now.

Jenn said...

I had no idea that's how it got it's name. I honestly would have never put two and two together. Ok, I mean it definitely looks like a spotted dog, but why a dog? Doesn't sound that appetizing at all!! LOL Oh well, I still eat it not matter what they call it!

lostpastremembered said...

Interesting history, Mary. I am really liking the idea of the plums and suet too... must look into it!! Thanks for the great info!

Milly said...

thankyou for your lovely comment -what is your opera company called? I'd love to hear more about it!

xx

Ronda Kisner said...

I love raisins!

Priya said...

Ur spotted bread looks marvellous..

Soumya Vineeth said...

New to me, loved the raisin combo!

Carol @ There's Always Thyme to Cook said...

Whatever you call it, it looks delicious!

Emily Malloy said...

Oh my gosh! How creative. I love it :)

Clint said...

WOOF! WOOF! WOOF! It looks wonderful, and I know it tastes wonderful, so I don't care what you call it---just don't call me late for dinner. Insert waggle tail here.

yummychunklet said...

This bread looks good, especially with the golden raisins.

Biren @ Roti n Rice said...

Your picture of the dalmatian beside the bread made me laugh. I must say the bread is aptly named :)

I love Irish soda bread and I know I will like this too. It looks and sounds wonderful!

sally said...

Such a crazy name for bread! With all of those raisins, it does make sense though.

paula MARIANA said...

Oh Mary, always surprising me.
Her fairy hands can make the bread look even more delicious, and I love raisins, a perfect combination.

Thanks for sharing the recipe.
Kisses and have a good week.!

Rue said...

Great story! I've not tried this soda bread, but have an occasional hankering for raisin bread, so this would do nicely.

Eliana said...

Love your dalmation bread Mary :)

♥Sugar♥Plum♥Fairy♥ said...

Lol , i lovee the comparism and u have illustrated it ever so cutely with the doggie.
I never knew breads were called thus!
Perfect baking as always!

Harika's Kitchen said...

Looks yummy and cake looks fabulous.

PeggyR said...

I love your story.

Joanne said...

I say any bread that's named after such a cute puppy must be delicious! Plus I love anything stuffed with dried fruit...especially bread.

Sue @ All About Food said...

Raisins and caraway seeds remind me of one of my favorite rye breads. This soda bread looks and sounds delicious. You may be interested in the authentic Irish Soda Bread I made last year: http://sdoeden.areavoices.com/2010/03/15/authentic-irish-soda-bread-really/
It's a recipe from Rachel Gaffney.

Sandra said...

Love it..so cute and I bet so tasty! Nicely done!!!

That Girl said...

Thinking about this reminds me of the raisin scones I grew up with. Slightly sweet bread and raisins!

a frog in the cottage said...

thanks for the comment you left on my blog ! it is always encouraging to read compliments from an accomplished cook ! Your spotted dog is making my stomach jumping around & my mouth is watering !!

Katerina said...

I have never tried this type of bread. And I enjoyed the story behind it!

Design Wine and Dine said...

I love your pictures in this post! I really enjoy a good Irish Soda bread, my my Mom used to make one that was out of this world! Sounds like a nice version you have here being that you mention it's not as rich as some others. Perfect for St. Patty's day!!!

EliFla said...

I love this kind of bread, it seems to be similar to "Pan co' Santi" from Tuscan....very good!!!

HAve a very nice week, hugs and kisses Flavia

Renee @ MyKitchenAdventures said...

thanks for the lesson! :) I added you to my blogroll the other day...love your blog!

Alexis AKA MOM said...

Oh Goodness, looks fab. I haven't heard about the soda bread being called spotted dog. I love learning fun facts. Thanks!

Susi said...

I had heard of spotted dick, but this is the first time I heard of spotted dog. I love coming here and learning so many new and interesting things. Great looking bread!

Nancy said...

I love Irish soda bread but have never tried spotted dog - it looks delicious, and thanks for explaining its interesting history!

''Cucina di Barbara'' said...

informative and funny:)
thank you for sharing a lot of interesting recipes!
Have a nice evening, Barbara

teresa said...

i always love getting a little history with my food blogging, this looks delicious!

nanny said...

So interesting.....
Another new one for me!

Lizzy said...

Hi Mary! I want to thank you very much for your kind words and browsing my blog 'Once Upon a Plate...' I have had a pleasure browsing yours now too - what a great recipe collection! Glad to have connected, take care

Tammy said...

Lovely post, Mary!
I have never heard of spotted dog. Your recipe sounds wonderful and looks so nice!

Have a lovely week!

xx,
Tammy

Ginny said...

Thanks for the info, Mary! You know I was one of those wanting to know about the name. I didn't get anywhere much in my research, except fot the scandelous dick. He he! How very unseemly! Guess the dalmation theory is one to go with!

Manu said...

What a wonderful post Mary! I love it and your blog! That is why I am passing on a "One lovely Blog Award" to you. You can find it here: http://www.manusmenu.com/first-event-and-second-award
Have a lovely day!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I am so hungry for some good bread! This looks wonderful! I should bake! ♥

Maria said...

Sounds delicious!

Reeni said...

I have never heard it called these other names before Mary! I do know I love it! I think spotted dog is a cute name for it. Thank you for telling me about the bake off - I heard from some others about it too. I removed the post because I felt it was misleading.

Jess @ Bakericious said...

such a cute name for it. The bread looks so nice with thick layer of butter.

Angela said...

Very lovely!

Country Dreaming said...

Yummy!!!

I have never made this though.

Have a wonderful Tuesday.

Melinda

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Well, you've certainly stretched my imagination today! This is the recipe I know and love.

Elaine said...

I've always wanted to make this, but have never gotten around to it. I like your suggested name so much better.

Monet said...

Now I want to eat bread and watch 101 dalmatians :-) Thanks for sharing such a tasty new bread recipe. I've never heard of this "spotted dog" before. I hope you had a great Monday...and that tomorrow is even better, my sweet friend!

Laural (bhealthier) said...

Oh my goodness, I just found your blog. What a great site you have! I really enjoyed the history on this bread. I've never heard of "spotted dog" bread, only Irish Soda. Thanks!
Laural

Sue said...

I like your idea of Dalmation bread the best! Cute.

Jamie said...

Thanks for the lesson. I have always wondered even though I love chuckling at the name Spotted Dick. Love the bread and I will try it. Looks moist and tender yet a quick bread! how perfect is that!

A little bit of everything said...

I've never heard of spotted dog bread but any dough using buttermilk sounds perfect to be. thanks for the info and recipe Mary. Hope you'll have a wonderful Thursday

Mateja ^_^ said...

This one has "mu husband" written all over it- raisins! Love your sense of humor, have a great weekend Mary :)

scrambledhenfruit said...

I learned something new! Spotted Dog really is a descriptive name for this wonderful bread. :)

Scott at Real Epicurean said...

That's actually a really good recipe and is just simple enough for me to give it a go! I'll let you know how it turns out.

Barbara said...

Hi Mary,
I'd like to make this delightful loaf but I'm not clear on one of the ingredients ~ please check the amount you've listed for the "Baking Soda". Thanks for sharing!

Mary said...

Barbara,the correct amount should be1-1/2 teaspoons. I hope you enjoy the bread. Blessings...Mary

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