I was watching a Martha Stewart Baking show this morning and saw her make a loaf of Irish Soda Bread. Hers had some strange ingredients in it, but it got me curious about what Irish Soda Bread tastes like.
So, I turned to my trusted Cook's Illustrated Cookbook and found this Classic Irish Soda Bread recipe. Each ingredient is something I just so happen to have in my pantry at all times. If you have ever made Snickerdoodles, then you most likely have cream of tartar on hand and while you might not have cake flour, it is available at pretty much every grocery store.
I won't be stopping there. I can't wait to use this bread for a breakfast sandwich with eggs, ham and cheese or use it as the "biscuit" for some sausage gravy or dip it in some cheesy soup. So many possibilities. It's easier than making biscuits and it has less butter than biscuits. Sold!
Classic Irish Soda Breadadapted from: Cook's Illustrated
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. cake flour
2 Tbl. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbl. unsalted butter, cold
plus 1 Tbl. melted butter for brushing loaf
1 3/4 c. buttermilk
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Cut 2 Tablespoons of cold butter into chunks and add to the flour mixture. Using your clean hands, work the butter into the dry ingredients until it is completely incorporated. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add 1 1/2 cups of the buttermilk. Use a fork to work the ingredients together. Add up to another 1/4 cup of buttermilk, adding 1 Tablespoon at a time, until a dough forms.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and pat together to form a 6'' round. Place dough into an 8'' inch (or larger) cast-iron skillet. If you don't have a cast-iron skillet you can use a baking sheet, but the outside won't get as crispy. Use a sharp knife and cut an "x" into the top of the loaf, about 5-inches long and 3/4-inch deep. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with 1 Tablespoon of melted butter. Cool for a few minutes, slice and serve. Best if eaten on the day it is made.