I am not a big baker, I’m not so great at following recipes and measurements, I’m more of a wing it kind of girl but this, this is easy. Irish soda bread is so good and stodgy it is perfect for stews and soups!
So as it gets colder and all those delicious warm foods start making their way out of everyone’s kitchens and you need something to accompany a good hearty winter stew try out this quick and simple recipe:
A little oil to grease the baking tray
4 tablespoon cold butter
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk, plus about 2 tablespoons for brushing the loaf
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly oil the baking tray or you can use parchment paper. Cut the butter into small cubes and place on a plate in the freezer to chill. Do not freeze the butter solid or you will have a hard time working it into the flour.
2. Measure the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a mixing bowl. Stir with a whisk to combine.
3. Add the chilled butter to the bowl with the flour mixture, and using your finger tips, work the butter into the flour by quickly pinching and rubbing the butter and flour together. You can also use a pastry cutter or two knives. The butter should be fully worked in, without any large chunks left.
4. Add the buttermilk. Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula to combine. At a certain point, it may seem easier to use your hands to gather the dough into a rough, shaggy mass. Press it into a thick, slightly flattened ball.
5. Place the dough onto the baking tray. Using a sharp knife, mark a large X into the center of the dough, going all the way from end to end, about 1/2-inch deep. Brush with a little buttermilk.
6. Place in oven. After about 25 minutes, check the bread. If it is getting too brown, tent with a piece of foil. Continue baking, about another 20-30 minutes. You will be able to tell the loaf has finished cooking when the center of the X has lost the wet, shiny look of raw dough. You can also insert a cake tester — it should come out clean. A light thump on the bottom of the loaf should sound hollow.
7. Cool on a rack. Don’t cut the bread right away or it might turn gummy in the center. Let it rest for about 10 minutes before cutting into slices, or tearing into chunks.