I had big plans for St. Patrick’s Day this year. Well, not “big” so much as I planned to drink a few pints of Guinness. Instead, I got sick with some kind of fever-y flu-like mess. Alas, no drinks were had for St. Patrick.
I did, however, manage to make some soda bread beforehand because what’s the month of March without soda bread?! After looking into the matter a bit, I found out that the sweet, raisin-or-current-laden soda bread I had always known and loved wasn’t traditional Irish soda bread. It was more of an American take on a classic.
And while I adore the former, I figured I’d give the traditional loaf a try. Turns out, it’s a super basic bread that was often made daily to accompany meals. Armed with my buttermilk and official Irish butter (Kerry Gold), I went to town.
It came together in a matter of minutes. Minutes! And then baked for less than an hour. My favorite way to eat this was actually toasted with a little butter and jam. It’s super dense and the toasting helped lighten it up.
- 3½ c. flour
- ½ t. salt
- ¾ t. baking soda
- 1½ c. buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 450°.
- Sift flour, salt and baking soda together into large bowl.
- Create a well in the center of the bowl and pour in buttermilk.
- Slowly work flour mixture from sides into buttermilk with your hands.
- Turn out onto a floured surface and lightly knead dough until it comes together (under 1min).
- Pat into a round about 1½ inches thick.
- Using a sharp knife, slice a cross into top of the round reaching from end to end.
- Bake for 15min then drop temperature down to 400°. Bake for another 30min. or under top is golden and bread sounds hollow when tapped.
adapted from The New York Times