I began with a recipe I found through Pinterest, and then I made some modifications. For the white flour called for, I substituted some freshly ground whole wheat flour, which is what I typically use in my recipes. The bread turned out darker, more golden, than the all-white variety, but it's just as delicious.
Also, I decided right off the bat that instead of baking it in a 9" round baking pan (with another inverted 9" round pan on top), I'd try baking it in my 12" cast iron skillet. I tented a piece of aluminum foil over the top, then removed the foil during the last 10 minutes or so to brown the top of my bread.
I also reduced the baking temperature to 400 degrees F, which helped keep the bottom crust from getting burned, or too hard and crusty. I then shortened the baking time a bit to keep the bread moist. Everything turned out dee-lish, which is why I'm sharing the recipe with you today!
Irish Soda Bread
Makes one round loaf in a 12" cast iron skillet.
two cups freshly ground whole wheat flour (I used pastry flour--from soft wheat berries)
two cups high quality white flour
two teaspoons baking soda
one teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups buttermilk (I love the Kalona brand!)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 12-inch cast iron skillet, then sprinkle a slight dusting of flour over the bottom.
In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking soda and salt. Gradually stir in the buttermilk until the dough comes together in a slightly sticky ball. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead gently a few times. Form the dough into a flat ball, gradually shaping it into a flat disk. Press into the skillet so that the dough reaches the edges of the skillet (it may spring back slightly).
Cut an X into the dough with a sharp knife, about 1/4 of an inch deep. Cover the pan of dough with a round cake pan turned upside down, or a piece of aluminum foil tented a bit. Bake for 25 minutes, covered, then remove the top pan and bake uncovered for about 10 minutes more or until the crust is dark golden brown.
I cut this into slices right in the skillet, but you could turn it out onto a cutting board for slicing. It's great with honey-cinnamon butter. For leftovers, slice and toast. And serve with honey-cinnamon butter, because it's amazing. Really, the bread is great with anything--plain butter, jam...
Simple and delicious accompaniment to any meal; wonderful on its own!
Oh, why not, let's have one more photo!!
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