Traditional Irish Soda Bread

17 Mar

I’m a stickler for keeping food traditional on holidays. There’s something about it that I just love! But one thing that’s done traditionally WRONG in the US is soda bread! There is no sugar in it, or butter, or fruits and nuts. It is neither cake nor bread. It’s soda bread! Super quick and easy (and delicious), this is something you can enjoy all the time, not just St. Patrick’s Day! Also, it goes PERFECTLY with tea or coffee.

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Traditional Irish Soda Bread (recipe courtesy “The Art of Irish Cooking” by Monica Sheridan)

Ingredients:

4 cups Whole wheat flour
2 cups White flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking soda
1 1/2 tsp Salt
2 cups Buttermilk

Directions:

Mix the whole wheat flour thoroughly with the white flour, salt, and baking soda.
Make a well in the center and gradually mix in the liquid. Stir with a wooden spoon. You may need less, or more liquid – it depends on the absorbent quality of the flour.

The dough should be soft but manageable. Knead the dough into a ball in the mixing bowl with your floured hands. Put on a lightly floured baking sheet and with the palm of your hand flatten out in a circle 1 1/2 inches thick.

With a knife dipped in flour, make a cross through the center of the bread so that it will easily break into quarters when it is baked. Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes, reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake a further 15 minutes. If the crust seems too hard, wrap the baked bread in a damp tea cloth. Leave the loaf standing upright until it is cool.

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