Irish Soda Bread
A true quick bread that requires no yeast, this loaf gets its tender crumb from buttermilk
Prep Time: 10M
Cooking Time: 30M-35M
Serves: makes 6 servings
- 3 1/4 cups bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp butter or lard, diced
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk or 1 1/4 cups whole milk mixed with 1 tsp cider vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Dust a baking sheet with flour. Sift the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt together into a bowl. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips to form fine crumbs.
- Make a well in the center. Pour in the buttermilk and then mix to form a soft dough. Knead briefly on a lightly floured work surface. Shape into a ball, then roll on the work surface to smooth the surface.
- Place on the baking sheet, and lightly flatten the top. Using a floured knife, cut into 6 equal wedges, without completely cutting all the way through the dough.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
- Good with a bowl of hot soup or with a wedge of sharp Cheddar cheese and cooked ham.
- Leftovers will become dry after a day, but make good toast and croutons for soup. Or, make bread crumbs for using in other dishes, and freeze until needed.
Brown Irish Soda Bread: Replace 11/2 cups of the bread flour with whole wheat flour.
Excerpted from The Illustrated Kitchen Bible.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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