Friday, March 7, 2014

Grandma Grace's Irish Soda Bread

This isn't my Grandma Grace's soda bread, though I did have a Grandma Grace.  This recipe comes from Dawn Lyon's grandma via my Grandma Betty's church cookbook.  I am rediscovering this book with a pair of fresh eyes since I have a newborn daughter.  The recipes are so simple and affordable and comforting. Definitely expect more where this came from!

This bread is delicious (and festive!) and it's even easier to make than biscuits (though similar).  It all happens in one bowl and there's no mess on your counter from kneading as it's simply stirred together just until combined with a fork.

Enjoy this bread during your Saint Patrick's celebrations...and you'll find it so simple and tasty you'll want to make it all year 'round!

Irish Soda Bread
Adapted from my Grandma Betty's church cookbook.  Serves 4.

2 cups cake flour (or all purpose is okay too)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature, diced
1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup milk mixed with 2 teaspoons lemon juice)

Preheat the oven to 375F.  Prepare an 8 inch cast iron skillet or similar baking pan by dusting the bottom and sides with a mix of flour and cornmeal.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Rub butter into the dry mixture with your fingers until the butter is broken down into crumbs.  Stir in buttermilk until it comes together in rough mass and the the flour is picked up from the bottom of the bowl.  Do not over mix.

Pat the dough gently into the skillet and score into four sections.  Bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.  Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper, if desired.  Wrap in a dry tea towel and cool on a wire rack.  Serve broken into four chunks, plain or garnished as you would biscuits or scones.



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