Irish Soda Bread
This recipe is only slightly modified from one I found on thekitchn.com. I won’t bother getting into arguments about authentic soda bread here either—I grew up on the loaded sweet and caraway versions available at our local supermarket. But it’s definitely worth making this easy bread at home. And of course, it’s the perfect way to sop up that Guinness braising liquid with your corned beef!
- 3 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 c. whole wheat flour
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 4 tbsp. cold butter, cut into very small pieces
- 1/2 c. currants
- 2 c. buttermilk, plus 2 Tbsp.
- Preheat oven to 400°F, and line a cast-iron skillet or heavy baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Add the two flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a very large mixing bowl and whisk together. Add in the butter, and using your hands or a pastry knife, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse sand.
- Add 2 cups of the buttermilk and currants into the bowl and combine with a wooden spoon. Once the dry ingredients are mostly combined, switch to your hands and give it a few kneads. The dough will be VERY sticky but should keep its shape. Combine into a large ball and carefully place it in the prepared skillet or baking sheet. Smooth the top as much as possible, then score the dough with an X, around a 1/2-inch deep. Add a couple of tablespoons of buttermilk to a small bowl and use a pastry brush to coat the loaf.
- Place the pan into the oven. As soon as the top of the bread begins to brown (around 25 minutes or so into cooking), throw a piece of aluminum foil on top. Continue baking another 20–30 minutes. The loaf has finished cooking when the center of the X has lost the wet, shiny look of raw dough or when a long wooden skewer comes out clean when inserted into the loaf. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for ten minutes, then remove from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm with salted butter.