Sunday, March 31, 2013

Irish Soda Bread

I hope your March was lovely, everyone!  I've been baking and cooking up a storm this month, and here's the first recipe I want to share with you:  Irish Soda Bread.  I love this bread because you can make it in under an hour, start to finish, which is great if you're like me and forget that you wanted homemade bread for dinner until it's about an hour till you eat.  Ahem.  Also, you can get in touch with your Irish roots while you make it, or just pretend to be Irish if you don't have any Irish roots.
The key to successful soda bread is to not knead it too much.  Knead it just long enough to get everything to stick together and then call it good.  This is known as having a "soft hand" and will result in the best soda bread.
Irish Soda Bread
4 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. sugar
2 1/4 c. buttermilk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Combine the dry ingredients and add buttermilk to make a soft dough.  Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead very lightly until it just sticks together.  Form into a thick round loaf (about as thick as your fist).  Sprinkle baking sheet with cornmeal and place loaf on sheet.  Cut an "x" into the top of the loaf and bake for 40 to 45 minutes.  When done, remove loaf from oven and wrap in a dishtowel to soften the crust.  Serve warm, dipped in a good bowl of soup (recipe to come).

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