Simple Irish Soda Bread
With St. Patrick’s Day on the horizon, thoughts turn to the food and drink originating from the island in the North Atlantic. Among favorites here in the states is Irish soda bread, which is more commonly known in Ireland as “cake” or “cake-bread.” Found in many forms, soda bread at its most basic consists of four ingredients: flour, salt, baking soda, and buttermilk. Baking soda, or bicarbonate of soda, an alternative to yeast, is what gives the bread its rise. If you’re new to bread making, Irish soda bread is a great place to start.
1 ¾ c. milk
2 Tbps. Lemon Juice
3.5 c. white, whole wheat, or half and half flour (reserve some for kneading)
½ c. old-fashioned oats
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. dried rosemary
½ tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
One egg (optional)
Pinch of pepper
Pinch of rosemary
Preheat oven to 375°
Stir lemon juice in milk and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients listed and mix.
Melt butter in a small pan and heat until it begins to brown and smell sweet and nutty. Turn off heat and let cool just slightly.
Combine the milk /lemon mixture with the dry ingredients and add the browned butter. Stir until there is no dry flour. Dough should be a little sticky but dry enough to hold together enough to turn out onto floured surface.
Knead carefully, only a few times (5-10) until you have a ball of dough. Do not over knead.
Divide dough in two and shape each into a ball. Place the balls of dough on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Brush lightly with lightly beaten egg over top and sprinkle with pepper and rosemary.
With a sharp knife, cut an “X” into the top of each loaf. Place in oven for 45 minutes.
All to cool before breaking the bread apart.