Healthier & Delicious: Whole-Wheat Irish Soda Bread
Every year I make Irish soda bread for St. Patrick’s day. It’s my lil Tara tradition along with Corned Beef and Cabbage…Yum! I am the only one of my friends that likes it for some reason but that is okay, more for me!
For my soda breads of past I usually go with the recipes that use part white flour, part wheat and have currants and sugar in them. I’ve since heard from a friend that true Irish soda bread doesn’t usually have all of the extras and so I set out to try two new recipes this year. One will be part white/wheat flour and the other will use all wheat pastry flour. The second recipe was given to me by a lovely friend who learned how to make it in Ireland. I will post the results after the second recipe is made.
- 2 cups unsifted whole-wheat flour
- 2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/4 cups light buttermilk
Preheat oven to 450°F. Dust a clean surface with flour. Spray a baking sheet with Pam and dust with flour. (Note: Aim for the center when you do this, or you’ll be scrubbing burnt, floured Pam off your bakeware.)
In a large mixing bowl, combine flours, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together. Make a well in the middle. Pour in about 2/3 cup of the buttermilk. With one hand, stir it into the dough in a circular motion. Add another 2/3 cup of the buttermilk. Stir again with your hand, until flour is incorporated. Repeat until buttermilk is gone, and you have a big ol’ lump of dough, which should be, “soft, but not too wet and sticky.”
Turn dough out on to your floured surface. Clean your hands, dry them thoroughly, and dust them with flour. Lightly knead dough a few times, until it’s a rounded loaf-like shape. Pat it down into a round, 2″-thick disc. Transfer to baking sheet. With a serrated knife, cut a deep X across the bread.
Bake 20 minutes on 450°F. Drop the heat to 400°F and bake an additional 30 to 35 minutes.
Bread should appear finished and sound hollow when you knock on it. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack until you’re ready to dig in.