Happy St. Paddy’s Day!
I hope you’re wearing green! I also hope you’re going to make this soda bread, because holy heck…I did not know soda bread could taste this good! I know it looks kinda boring, but I assure you, it’s anything but! (I mean, just look at how many exclamation points I’m using…)
If you’re like me, you always thought soda bread was bland bread lacking in texture, and maybe full of raisins or caraway seeds (why must caraway seeds be included in anything ever?!). Yes, I clearly had never had *good* soda bread, until this. You guys, this recipe is AWESOME. I promise you will love it! Plus, it’s so easy!
The outside is hard and crunchy, but the inside is oh-so-tender. It has a slight sweetness thanks to a bit of brown sugar, and a hefty nuttiness from whole wheat flour. It’s fantastic! I mayyyy have had three pieces in a row the second I cut into it…self-control be damned!
And yes, it’s 100% mandatory to slather it in some good, deeply yellow, salted, Irish butter! I like using this one, because it’s easy for me to find, but if you have another kind, go for it! They key is butter made from cows who are grass fed, and not grain fed. It’s über creamy, rich, and absolute perfection on this bread.
One of the keys to making soda bread is to not handle or knead it very much so that it stays tender. Here I use my stand mixer to turn it with the dough hook just until it comes together! Then, I turn it out on my baking sheet and shape it into a round.
If you don’t have a stand mixer, just use your hands to lightly knead it until it comes together, then put it on your baking sheet.
Basically, we just don’t want to treat this like a yeast bread that needs a lot of kneading to develop glutens. The leavening here is baking soda (hence why it’s called soda bread).
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) salted butter, cold and cut into 1/2" chunks
- 2 cups buttermilk
- salted Irish butter, to serve
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat, or spray with nonstick spray.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer (or just a large bowl), mix together the flours, sugar, and baking soda. Add in the butter and mix (you can do this with your hands, or a paddle attachment) until the butter is broken down to pea-sized pieces. Add in the buttermilk and mix (with a spoon or the dough hook attachment) until a shaggy dough forms. Knead it very lightly (with your hands, or continuing with the dough hook) until it all just comes together. Turn onto the baking sheet, and shape into a 9" round. Slice a 1/2"-deep "x" into the top of the dough, almost to the edges.
- Bake for 55 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, and the bread sounds hollow when you knock on the bottom. Transfer to a wire rack to cool fully.
- Serve slathered in some good Irish butter!
recipe from here