The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. ~ Psalm 16:6 nasb

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Irish Soda Bread

A young lady friend introduced me to this simple and delicious bread, a great accompaniment to any meal, or even toasted by itself and slathered with honey-cinnamon butter for a yummy and quick breakfast.

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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