Book Tour: Irish Soda Bread

Before I get to the tour visit today at LibriAmoriMiei, let me assure you this is not and will not be a recipe site. But, they asked for one for my visit and I couldn’t think of a better offering than a good Irish Soda Bread recipe–it’s almost a co-star in Chef’s Table.

Soda bread is an Irish staple. You can find it at any meal, afternoon tea and of course, alongside any respectable serving of oysters. If you serve it with butter—and really why make it if you don’t—treat yourself to some Irish butter. It’s cultured, unlike American varieties making it richer and creamier and fuller in flavor. Kerrygold makes a fantastic Irish butter and you can find it, as well as their delicious cheeses, in most major grocery stores. (Dubliner cheese? I would sit and eat it with a knife in a white-walled cement room and be happy it’s that good. “One more chunk. Just… maybe two more chunks.”)

You can also add currants or raisins, but I’m quite fond of it plain. This is a combination of recipes from Simply Recipes and a delightful cookbook that fed much of Patrick’s dishes in Chef’s Table, Real Irish Food by David Bowers.

Makes 1 medium loaf, 6-8 servings.

Or two servings. Gluttony is favorably looked upon when it comes to soda bread and butter

  • 3 cups coarse, stoneground whole wheat (coarse ground is specifically is hard to find—but I used Arrowhead Mills stoneground whole wheat flour, found in the “health food” section of my grocery, and it worked beautifully)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ – 1 ¾ cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large bowl, stir together the flours, soda and salt. Mix in enough buttermilk to make a stiff dough, kneading as little as possible to combine.

Turn into a slightly-greased cast iron skillet (my preferred method) or onto a floured rimless baking sheet. The bread will flatten a little on the baking sheet. Shape into a round, and cut a large cross onto the top—to let the fairies out. Or, you know, to let the bread bake evenly depending on whether you are more into the science or the magic.

It’s always for the magic.

Bake for 35-45 minutes (cast iron might take a little longer), or until a long skewer poked into the center comes out clean. If the top starts to get too dark, tent with foil.

If using cast iron, make sure to use pot holders to remove it from the oven. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes and then turn onto a rack to cool. When it’s properly done, the bottom should sound hollow when lightly tapped.

Can be eaten warm. In fact, it’s best fresh from the oven.

It’s that easy. And that delicious. And perfect for the cold winter evenings ahead of us.

After you bake yourself a batch, hop on over to LibriAmoriMiei and check out her lovely 5-star review. Then enter the giveaway for a free $25 gift card… and don’t forget to let me know how well your bread turned out.



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