My Irish Soda Bread

Everybody’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.¬†Whether that’s true or not, I’ll bet eating this great round loaf is a good start.¬† It’s a simple, purist’s loaf – the way I like it; no fanfare, just enjoy with hot tea.

4 cups all purpose flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. baking soda
4 Tbsp. butter (do not use margarine)
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups buttermilk

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Sift the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda together in a large bowl. Using the tips of your fingers work the butter into the mixture until it looks like coarse meal.

Make a well in the center and add the beaten egg and buttermilk into this well; mix it in with a wooden spoon until the dough is too stiff to stir anymore. Dust your hands with a bit of flour then gently knead the dough right in the bowl just long enough for it to form a rough ball. Transfer it to a surface that you’ve lightly floured and shape it into a round loaf.

Transfer loaf to a large lightly greased baking sheet or even a cast iron skillet is good – grease that too. Make an X shape about 1/2″ deep with a serrated knife on top of the dough. Place into the oven and bake until it’s golden brown – about 45 minutes. Let it cool briefly and serve warm or room temp. This recipe makes fantastic leftovers!