A Quick and Simple Irish Soda Bread Recipe
by Irish Sisters Imports
| Friday, March 16, 2018 |
Soda bread has been an Irish household staple since baking soda became commercially available in the early 19th century. It uses just four ingredients that most people kept on hand: flour, salt, baking soda, and buttermilk (raisins and caraway seeds are an American addition). A real soda bread is a simple loaf with a beautifully browned, craggy crust and a nice chew, best eaten liberally smeared with salty Irish butter.
- 1 lb. (3-1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more as needed
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. table salt
- 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 cups buttermilk
- Calories (kcal) : 220
- Fat Calories (kcal): 10
- Fat (g): 1
- Saturated Fat (g): 0
- Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0
- Monounsaturated Fat (g): 0
- Cholesterol (mg): 0
- Sodium (mg): 310
- Carbohydrates (g): 45
- Fiber (g): 2
- Protein (g): 7
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and cook’s tip heat the oven to 450°F. Lightly flour a large rimmed baking sheet.
- Sift all of the dry ingredients into a large, wide mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in 1-1/2 cups of the buttermilk. Stir with one hand, fingers apart, moving in circles to incorporate the buttermilk into the dry ingredients. If necessary, add more buttermilk 1 Tbs. at a time until the dough just barely comes together. (The absorption rate varies depending on the brand of flour.) The dough should be soft—don’t overwork it.
- Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and pat into a round about 6-3/4 inches in diameter and 1-1/2 inches high in the center. Invert the round so the floured side is on top. With a thin, sharp knife, score a cross on the dough about 1/4 inch deep and extending fully from one side to the other.
- Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 400°F and bake until the bread is browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, another 20 to 30 minutes.
- Cool to room temperature on a rack, about 2 hours, before slicing and serving.
Though it’s not traditionally Irish, you can add 3 oz. raisins with the dry ingredients, or experiment with add-ins like freshly chopped herbs, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, caramelized onions, or chocolate chips.
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