Irish-ish Soda Bread
I adore the smell of baking bread, and I know that I am not alone. Dinner last Thursday was a chicken stew prepared in the crockpot, so when I came home and read on Seven Spoons about a bread that could be prepared in an hour, from start to finish, I was sold. I had to make a couple of quick substitutions, but I had most of the ingredients on hand.
The bread was very tasty–in fact, we ate most of it before dinner while we decided what to do about the disastrously inedible chicken stew (a story for another day). The bread was crusty, with a biscuit-like crumb. Warm from the oven and slathered with butter and homemade raspberry jam…I’d almost rather go hunt up the leftovers than sit here and tell you about it.
Irish-ish Soda Bread
Adapted from Seven Spoons
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (large flake, not instant)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup, 1/2 stick) cold, unsalted butter, diced
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, oats, salt, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Set aside.
Using a pastry cutter, two knives or your fingers, cut the butter into the flour cutting and work the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the buttermilk/egg mixture, mixing until you have a rough dough. Use your hands to turn and lightly knead the bread in the bowl, incorporating all the dry ingredients.
Working quickly, turn the dough onto a lightly-floured work surface and knead gently for about 30 seconds; the dough should be soft and elastic. Form the dough into a boule, about 8-inches across with a gentle dome and slightly-flattened top. Dust the surface of the bread with a sprinkling of flour, then use a sharp knife to slash a shallow cross from edge to edge of the loaf. Transfer bread to prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. If the crust gets too dark during baking, tent loosely with foil. Cool on a rack for at least 10 minutes, then enjoy.
Makes 1 loaf.
Note: Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, everyone!