Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Irish Soda Bread

On the search for bread recipes that don't require a stand up mixer, I was excited to read A Slice of Ireland in the March issue of Bon Appetit magazine. I've never had soda bread, but the pictures looked so good so I tried it. It was delicious, but more like a giant biscuit than a slice of bread. Great for breakfast! Eat while it's still warm, with lots of butter and jam if you have it.

Mrs. O'Callaghan's Soda Bread - Ballinalacken Castle Country House & Restaurant

3 cups all purpose flour
3 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (packed) brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled margarine or butter cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 cups buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a heavy baking sheet with nonstick spray.
2. Whisk both flours, sugar and baking soda in a medium bowl to blend.
3. Add butter and cut until butter is reduced to pea-size pieces.
4. Add buttermilk, stir until shaggy dough forms.
5. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until dough comes together, about 10 turns. Shape dough into 7 inch round.
6. Place dough on prepared baking sheet. Cut a large X, 1/2 inch deep, in top of dough.
7. Bake bread until deep brown and bottom sounds hollow when firmly tapped, about 40 minutes. Transfer bread to rack and cool completely.

The picture in the magazine shows the bread in a baking sheet about 2 inches deep, but the recipe says to shape in a 7 inch round, which is what I did but the center was not cooked all the way. I will make this again, but will press into a baking sheet as the picture shows, rather than a round. Enjoy!

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