Irish Soda Bread

From Eat Cake For Dinner

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Seriously easy. Seriously delicious. Irish soda bread is a must for St. Patrick’s Day.  Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, it’s like a biscuit.  A giant, buttery, irresistible biscuit.  I ate some for lunch, and added a bit of butter and leftover lemon curd.  It would be fantastic as is, with marmalade, jelly, jam, honey, as a sandwich (leftover corned beef, Swiss cheese and spinach, perhaps) or as the bookends to a grilled cheese sandwich.  This bread shouldn’t be limited to one day a year.

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First, adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  

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Ignore the dirty oven floor.  Thanks.

In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt.  

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Cut 2 tablespoons of cold butter into chunks and add to the flour mixture.  

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Using your (clean) hands, work the butter into the dry ingredients until it is completely incorporated.  

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Most butter pieces were this size or smaller. Do your best, but don’t fret too much.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add 1 1/2 cups of the buttermilk.  

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**Sidenote** I never buy buttermilk.  I make my own using distilled white vinegar or lemon juice.  Just add 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice per 1 cup of milk. Let sit for five minutes, and then you’re good to go.  The milk will curdle – it’s supposed to!  You won’t taste the vinegar or lemon either, I promise.

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Use a fork to work the ingredients together.  

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Add up to another 1/4 cup of buttermilk, adding 1 tablespoon at a time, until a dough forms.  It will be rather sticky. 

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Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and pat together to form a 6” round.  

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Place dough into an 8” inch (or larger) cast-iron skillet.  If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet you can use a baking sheet, but the outside won’t get as crispy.  Use a sharp knife and cut an “x” into the top of the loaf, about 5-inches long and 3/4-inch deep.  

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Mine was a little lopsided.  I’m going to call it rustic. 

Bake for 40 minutes.  Remove from oven and brush with 1 tablespoon of melted butter.  Cool for a few minutes, slice and serve. 

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Ingredients

3 c all-purpose flour

1 c cake flour

2 T sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 T unsalted butter, cold plus 1 T melted butter for brushing loaf

1 3/4 c buttermilk*

Directions

Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt.  Cut 2 tablespoons of cold butter into chunks and add to the flour mixture.  Using your clean hands, work the butter into the dry ingredients until it is completely incorporated.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add 1 1/2 cups of the buttermilk.  Use a fork to work the ingredients together.  Add up to another 1/4 cup of buttermilk, adding 1 tablespoon at a time, until a dough forms.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and pat together to form a 6” round.  Place dough into an 8” inch (or larger) cast-iron skillet.  If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet you can use a baking sheet, but the outside won’t get as crispy.  Use a sharp knife and cut an “x” into the top of the loaf, about 5-inches long and 3/4-inch deep.  Bake for 40 minutes.  Remove from oven and brush with 1 Tablespoon of melted butter.  Cool for a few minutes, slice and serve.  Best if eaten on the day it is made.

*Make your own buttermilk.  Add 1 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar or lemon juice per 1 cup of milk.  Let sit five minutes, then use as needed.

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girlkneadsbread

My adventures with bread and the deliciousness of life.

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