Irish Soda Bread
Soda bread is one of the many things for which I understimate my enjoyment. It comes together so quickly and is a forgiving canvas for experimentation. It also happens to toast beautifully. This recipe is inspired by the very healthy and hearty version made by Heidi at 101cookbooks (http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/sixseed-soda-bread-recipe.html). I wanted to recreate the delicious “brown bread” I had when traveling in Ireland and to ensure a bit of fiber without going too crazy with seeds and nuts or fruits… at least this time. I hope you like this slightly nutty and roasty tasting soda bread. I highly recommend Kerrygold salted butter to spread heavily on a warm slice or wedge of this charmingly accommodating bread.
Irish Soda Bread
2 1/2 cups unbleached white all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat bran
2 cups buttermilk
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a square of parchment paper on a baking sheet or in a cast iron pan, and or dust the surface of the baking item with floor. In a bowl mix together all the dry ingredients. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the buttermilk, reserving about a quarter of the total amount. Working quickly mix together until it is mostly incorporated adding the rest of the buttermilk as needed to make a just barely coherent dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead several times until a ball is formed. Need for just a minute or two. Form into a ball and flatten lightly onto desired baking vessel. Using a sharp knife cut a cross into the top of the dough, cutting about 1/2″ deep. Brush the top of the bread with a think coat of buttermilk and bake for 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven, carefully remove from pan and cool on a rack. Or eat immediately, and carefully, smeared with butter.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day