Yesterday, we started thinking about our St. Patrick’s Day menu, and decided we had a craving for some rich, dense Irish Soda Bread, slathered with good salted butter and a dollop of blackberry preserves.
I was pressed for time so I turned to my also busy husband and asked if he would like to make today’s recipe. I argued that bread making is very close to pasta making and since he makes first-rate, world-class homemade pasta without batting an eye or using a recipe—this would be a walk in the park and he could do it much faster than I could. He agreed and this is what he made. Still warm, we sampled our first piece as imagined. Delicious. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all!
Irish Soda Bread
Makes 1 loaf
2 cups all purpose flour
3 cups whole-wheat flour
¼ cup brown sugar
2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons shortening or unsalted butter
1/3 cup rolled oats
2 cups buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with spray or butter.
In a large bowl, thoroughly mix together the flours, sugar, baking soda salt and the oats. Add the shortening or butter in small pieces and cut in until the butter is reduced to very small pieces. Add the buttermilk and stir until the mixture comes together in a thick dough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it comes together. Shape the dough into a round, and cut an X into the top with a knife.
Bake the bread for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 and continue baking until the loaf is brown and firm, about 40 more minutes. Transfer to rack and cool.