RECIPE: Ross Sveback's Irish soda bread

If making yeast bread intimidates you, then give Irish Soda Bread a try. I think of it as a blend between yeast bread and a scone - no yeast involved. Simply mix the ingredients in a big bowl, then turn it out onto a counter to knead the ingredients until they hold together - it's really that easy. I tend to make this in an 9" cast iron pan so the bread and rise a tad higher since the sides of the pan keep it from spreading. You can add currants or other dried fruit, rosemary, cheese, bacon or green onions or top it with sanding sugar - this recipe is meant to be played with.

3 c. AP flour

1 c. cake flour

2 tbsp. sugar

1.5 tsp baking soda

1.5 tsp. cream of tartar

1 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. melted butter

1.5 c. buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place 1 tbsp. of canola oil into the bottom of the pan and smear it around to coat it. In a large bowl combine the all-purpose flour, cake flour, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt - stir with whisk to mix. Make a well in the center.

In a 2 c. liquid measuring cup, melt butter in the microwave, add buttermilk and stir with a fork to combine. Pour into well in flour mixture. Using a spatula, fold ingredients together - it will not completely form into a ball. Turn out mixture onto a counter, and gently knead until the mixture completely comes together.

Form mixture into a disk that is roughly smaller than the pan. Take a knife and score a large X into the top of the dough. Place into the pan and bake for roughly 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for five minutes before removing from pan - then schmear butter over the top. Allow bread to cool until warm - slice and enjoy!


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