Thursday, March 15, 2007

Irish Soda Bread

In honor of the upcoming holiday honoring the patron saint of Ireland I thought it would be nice to share a traditional Irish recipe. It is a very basic bread that every Irish household would always have on hand. It only has four ingredients.

4 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of salt
2 cups of buttermilk

Grease an 8 inch glass pie plate and set aside. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and put the rack in the middle of the oven.

Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl and add the buttermilk. Stir until everything comes together and then turn the dough out on a floured surface. Knead the dough for only a minute resisting the urge to do more. The dough should not be overworked. Form the dough into a disk about 6 inches across. Place in your greased pie dish. The dough won't touch the sides. Cut a cross in the dough about a half in deep all the way across and then bake for about 50 minutes until the slash widens and the bread is a nice golden brown.
Cool the bread on a wire rack until it is completely cool before slicing. Wrap the bread in a moist towel until ready to serve. You can keep this bread for a day wrapped and at room temperature but by the end of the day even the little amount of fat in the buttermilk will cause the bread to become pretty hard.

Enjoy with some good Irish stew, corned beef and cabbage or the national dish of Ireland Colcannon.

This recipe for Irish Soda Bread comes from Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan from a recipe by Marion Cunningham.

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