May 5, 2012

Irish Soda Bread

I first made this bread back in March for our sweet little St. Paddy's Day celebration. I've made it a few times since because it's so easy and so delicious. This bread requires no yeast, so it's simply mix, bake, done.

The crust of the bread is crunchy, but the inside is soft and moist. The texture of the bread is more biscuit-like than a standard bread made with yeast, so it's much more filling.

Plus, this bread is made with buttermilk, so you already know it's going to be amazing...

Irish Soda Bread

4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. sugar
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees {F} and grease and flour a 9-inch round baking dish.

{I actually baked mine in a pie plate}

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and sugar.

3. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until it is completely rubbed in. The mixture will be floury because of the much higher proportion of flour. With a wooden spoon stir or fold in the egg and buttermilk until a dough begins to form. Turn the dough onto a flour-dusted surface and knead briefly just until the dough comes together. Form the dough into a round and dust the top with extra flour. Place the dough into the prepared pan and score an X about 1/2-inch deep on the top of the dough.

4. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees {F} and bake another 40 minutes until the bottom is dark golden brown.

5. Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.

It may not be the prettiest-looking bread you ever did see, but still... is absolutely and utterly delicious.

My recipe book says the bread is best the day it is served, but I disagree. Matt and I found this bread to be just as fresh-tasting and delicious even two days later. It does, however, make for some marvelous toast in the days after you bake it.

A little smear of butter and some jam or honey and you've got a tiny slice of heaven.

And if you're making a thick and meaty stew, there is no other bread that could offer a better accompaniment than this.


*Recipe courtesy of The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook.*

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