If you are not someone who normally bakes bread, I urge you to give this super-simple recipe a try. It makes a densely textured slightly sweet bread with a delicious chewy crust. It is not the typical soda bread that includes currents or raisins and caraway seeds. This is a round loaf of bread (or individual pull-apart servings) that includes some healthy whole wheat flour ( use white whole wheat) and buttermilk to work with the leavening agents to give it its rise.
It is delicious all on its own, especially when spread with whipped salted butter, or even better with a dipping sauce of honey, melted butter and a touch of balsamic vinegar.
Irish soda bread is so closely associated with Corned beef and cabbage and St. Patrick’s Day, that I fear it doesn’t get much attention at other times of the year. That is really too bad!! This bread is just great at any meal but especially with soups and stews. It is so easy to make you can whip it up in a very short time and be enjoying it with your dinner. We also love it toasted with corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast.
Instead of baking one big loaf of this bread, try making a version that gives individual servings as I did in these pictures. You start by making the basic dough, but after turning it out onto a slightly floured surface, divide it into 16 equal pieces and, with floured hands, roll each into a ball. Transfer the balls to a parchment lined baking sheet in 4 rows of 4, making sure each dough is close to the ones around it. With the tip of a paring knife, cut a 1/4-inch-deep X on each ball. Because these pull-apart rolls are smaller than a full loaf, the baking time is cut in half. Try it!
P. S. I love raisins in soda bread, so I added some to my dough by kneading them in at the end, just before forming the balls. These turned out to be really good, and having the individual biscuits instead of a slice is a good form of portion control.
IRISH SODA BREAD
Makes 1 round loaf
- 1 1/2 cups regular, all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 Cup + 2 Tablespoons buttermilk
1. Preheat the oven to 375*F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients (flour – brown sugar). Add the buttermilk. Stir to combine and form a soft dough.
3. Turn out onto a floured surface and with floured hands, knead for about 1 minute to further blend the ingredients. Form into a ball and flatten slightly.
4. Dust with a little flour, and with a sharp knife slash the top into an “X”. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Allow to rest 15 minutes.
5. Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden and crusty. Cool slightly on a wire rack before serving. Serve with whipped butter, or a dipping sauce of honey, melted butter and a dash of balsamic vinegar.
SOURCE: My Gourmet Connection