So I'm not sure if I'm actually Irish. I mean, it's not something I identify with but when I spent some time REALLY digging into my genealogy, I discovered I had some ancestors that came to America via Ireland. So were they Irish? Or did they just travel from Ireland on their way to America? These are the great mysteries on life.
To me, St. Patrick's Day always seemed like a day where people celebrated something I wasn't in on. The only day Polish people have is Pulaski Day and it's hardly known for it's food or drinking. So the extent of my celebrating St. Patrick's day was occasionally eating corn beef and potatoes if my mom made it.
It may not be a surprise then that this was my first time trying Irish Soda Bread. Mostly, it never really appealed to me because it looked a little blah. But leave it to America's Test Kitchen to get me interested.
This bread has a wonderful chew and tang and of course, look at that crust. It's crunchy and craggly and it's just got character, man. I think it's best eaten the same day it's made and slathered with warm butter. Or jam. Or both. It's quick to whip up so add it to your St. Patty's feast! Celebrate your Irish Heritage! Or in my case, my kinda sorta "wait, am I?" Irish heritage.
Irish Soda Bread
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray. Set aside.
2. Place the flours, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and sugar in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add the softened butter and, using your fingers, rub it into the dry ingredients until the butter is incorporated and the mixture resembles course crumbs.
3. Make a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk. Using a fork, work the liquid into the dry ingredients until the mixture comes together in large clumps.
4. Turn onto a floured work surface and knead briefly until any dry flour becomes just moistened. The dough will be scrappy and uneven.
5. Form the dough into a round, about 6-7 inches in diameter and place on baking sheet. Score a deep cross in the center of the dough and place in the oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes until nicely browned and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and brush with melted butter. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
Recipe from America's Test Kitchen.