Alright, y’all. After my last post about Irish Soda Bread, and it’s non-authentic-ness, (I doubt that’s a word, but roll with me), I decided I should really get into this and make the real stuff, the stuff you’d find on a family’s table in Ireland.
Luckily, I won that mahusive amount of cheese and butter from KerryGold a few months back. Included in that giveaway was The Country Cooking of Ireland by Colman Andrews. It’s a beautiful book, big enough and full of enough gorgeous photographs to grace a coffee table.
There are wonderful recipes throughout the book, and some things I will never ever make (like head cheese, which is not cheese at all *shudder*). However, you can be pretty sure that I’m going to make every single recipe in the bread and baking section of this tome.
Because I’d read the forward, I knew just how well researched this book is. Each recipe is truly authentic to Ireland. So when the recipe says that this is Irish Soda Bread (and there’s no raisins or icing in sight), I feel like I’m offering you the real thing here.
The bread is good. Rustic, nutty, and perfect with Irish butter and a bowl of Guinness Stew. I can see why it’s the regular “table” bread of Ireland. It’s also incredibly easy to make.
Brown Soda Bread
Adapted from Colman Andrews’ Pint Glass Bread, makes one loaf
2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
2 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp butter
1 3/4 c. buttermilk + 2 tbsp if needed
Preheat the oven to 375F.
In a large bowl, combine the flours, soda, and salt. Whisk to combine and aerate. Add butter and and work through the flour until it resembles coarse bread crumbs.
Dig a well in the middle of the flour mix and pour the 1 3/4 c. into the well. Slowly work the flour into the buttermilk, turning the bowl as you do so to go around the entire edge. You want the dough to be soft, but not too sticky. If you feel it is too dry, add 1 tbsp of buttermilk at a time until you get the consistency you want.
Turn the dough onto a floured board and work it into a round disc about 2 inches thick and 6 inches in diameter. Cut a deep cross with a large knife to allow for proper ventilation and bake for 45 to 60 minutes. The finished bread should be nicely browned and sound hollow when thumped with your knuckle.