• Fast and Easy Irish Soda Bread

    I came across this recipe one evening searching for a fast bread to make to go with dinner that didn’t require yeast and multiple risings.  It comes from an old American Heart Association paperback cookbook that my mom sent with me when I moved out as a teen many many years ago (copyright 1973!).  I’m posting just the basic recipe, but you can make it the traditional way with 1/3 c of currants added to the dough or whatever you like.  My favorite version includes grated or cubed smoked gouda with dried Italian herbs, or black pepper and roasted garlic cloves.  Any way you make it, it comes together fast and easy, no kneading or proofing required!

    Ingredients:

    3 c sifted AP flour (I’ve subbed up to one cup with whole wheat without affecting taste/texture too much), do not pack the flour down into the measuring cup

    3/4 tsp sea salt

    1/4 c sugar

    1 tsp baking soda

    1/2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder

    1/4 tsp cream of tartar

    1/3 c butter, lard, etc, chilled

    1 1/3 c buttermilk (or soured milk, or add a little lemon juice to whole milk)

    Method:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large mixing bowl, sift together first six dry ingredients (as well as any additional dry spices/herbs you like).  Cut in butter with a pastry cutter until mixture resembles cornmeal.  Gently stir in any add-ins such as cheese or garlic cloves.  Add buttermilk and stir only until moistened.  Shape into a ball with your hands, pulling the dough and tucking ends under to make a nice rounded shape on top.  Place dough on a prepared cookie sheet (lined with parchment paper or surface buttered).  With a sharp non-serrated knife, cut a cross on the top about 1/4″ deep to prevent cracking during baking.  Bake 45 to 50 minutes until surface is just barely golden.  Cool on wire rack for as long as you can stand and slice in wedges to serve.

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