Well, I'm part Irish, and though I've never been to Ireland the rowers have me feeling a bit proud of me heritage. So, I made Irish soda bread, and loved it. It's a round loaf of bread risen without yeast--just with baking soda and buttermilk...basically, a large biscuit with slightly less butter, but you can slather as much as you want on a slice.
The bread is best the first day, but toasted the second day with butter and jam it does quite nicely for elevensies. The recipe I used calls for whole wheat flour and wheat bran, which adds a nice nutty heartiness to the bread.
Yield: 1 loaf
- 1 3/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups (6 7/8 ounces) whole-wheat flour
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) cake flour
- 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted, for brushing the loaf
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and place a rack in the upper middle of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment, silpat, or greased foil.
- In a large bowl, whisk all of the flours, wheat germ, brown sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and kosher salt. Rub in 2 tablespoons butter with your fingers until the mixture looks sandy/like crumbs.
- Add buttermilk and mix together with a fork until the dough comes together in shaggy clumps. Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead just a few turns, until it comes together into a lumpy but cohesive dough (Baking Illustrated says 12-14 turns).
- Pat into a 6 inch diameter round and place onto prepared baking sheet. Score with a serrated knife in a cross, cutting about 3/4" into the loaf (pretty deep).
- Bake 45-55 minutes, or until the loaf is golden brown on the outside and a tester comes out clean from the middle. If you're using an instant-read thermometer, cook until the center is 190 degrees F.
- Brush with melted butter immediately after taking the loaf out from the oven. Let it cool on a wire rack until room temperature, 30-40 minutes, before slicing in.
Recipe from Baking Illustrated.