March 17, 2009
In honor of St. Patrick's Day, we are featuring a classic Irish baked good: Soda bread. Popular throughout Ireland and known for it's easy and quick recipe, I suggest you whip this up for tea this afternoon or evening and indulge in a little bit of St. Paddy's, other than the fifty gallons of green beer you've most likely already consumed...
"Time to Soak Up All That Green Beer" Irish Soda Bread Recipe
1lb/ 1/2kg/ 4 cups plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sugar (optional)
1pt/ 1/2 lr/ 2 cups buttermilk or sour milk
Sieve the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Scoop up handfuls and allow to drop back into the bowl to aerate the mixture. Add enough buttermilk to make a soft dough. Now work quickly as the buttermilk and soda are already reacting. Knead the dough lightly - too much handling will toughen it, while too little means it won't rise properly.
Form a round loaf about as thick as your fist. Place it on a lightly-floured baking sheet and cut a cross in the top with a floured knife. Put at once to bake near the top of a pre-heated oven, gas mark 8, 450°F, 230°C, for 30-45 minutes. When baked, the loaf will sound hollow when rapped on the bottom with your knuckles. Wrap immediately in a clean tea-towel to stop the crust hardening too much.
This recipe was taken from A Little Irish Cookbook by John Murphy.