Irish Soda Bread

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(photo credit: Mum)

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(photo credit: Mum)

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IRISH SODA BREAD

Recipe barely adapted from the fine folks over at America’s Test Kitchen.

  • 435 grams / 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 125 grams / 1 cup cake flour
  • 35 grams / 1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/ 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 30 grams / 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 25 grams / 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 360 milliliters / 1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 10 grams / 1 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F with rack in the center of the oven.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, wheat germ, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, and sugar.  Using your fingers, rub in the butter until thoroughly combined with the dry ingredients.  The mixture should look like coarse crumbs.  Form a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk.  Using a fork, mix the buttermilk into the dry ingredients until the everything is moistened.  Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it just comes together.  The dough will look scrappy and uneven, but that’s the idea.

Form the dough into a round loaf of about 6 or 7 inches in diameter and place into a large cast iron skillet (or a baking sheet lined with parchment).  Score a deep cross on the top of the loaf and place in the oven.  Bake until a nice golden brown, about 40 to 45 minutes.  The bread should sound hollow when knocked.  Remove from the oven and brush the top with the optional tablespoon of melted butter.  Let the loaf cool at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.  The bread is best enjoyed fresh, but will keep up to two days in a cool, airtight container.

Makes 1 loaf

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