0 Easy Crusty Irish Soda Bread!

After years of making many different yeasted breads, I finally made an Irish Soda Bread! Crusty, buttery, with a biscuit-like texture, this bread will pair well with this Irish Beef Stew or any soup.

Unlike my Flaky Buttery Biscuits, this Irish Soda bread has the addition of egg and sugar, making it slightly sweet with a tender interior. Buttermilk is used for this recipe, but you can make a soured milk with lemon juice + milk as a great substitute or use a powdered buttermilk.

It is important that you measure your flour carefully, and do not over-work or knead this dough too much, as it will toughen or make the loaf very dense. 

Tip: To measure your flour, stir the flour with your measuring cup. This will add air to your flour and help you measure it more accurately.

Take a scoop of flour, do not tap it down, but simply slide the flat edge of a table knife across the top. 

The other difference from the Flaky Biscuit recipe is that this recipe uses softened butter.

Break up the butter into tablespoons and mash it with a fork or pastry blender. The flour mixture should have lumps the size of peas.

After the buttermilk/egg mixture is poured onto the flour, use a fork or spatula to mix the dough until you don't see any dry flour.

This very much looks like a shaggy, dry biscuit dough, but it will come together, I promise!

Put this dough onto a lightly floured surface or onto your silicone baking sheet and form a ball by pushing the dough together.

Tip: Resist the urge to knead this dough. All you need to dough is push it together and roll it into a ball.

Use a pastry brush to brush the milk/butter mixture onto the outside of the dough. This will give the soda bread it's golden, crusty crumb.

Use a sharp knife to cut an "X" , 1/2" deep, on top of the dough. Don't cut very deep, like I did, otherwise your bread will "open up" like a flower.

Bake this in a preheated 375°F oven for 45-50 minutes.

A toothpick inserted into the center of the dough that comes out clean will tell you it is done.

Crusty, buttery, with a tender interior. I warmed up a large bowl of Irish Beef Stew and enjoyed a wonderful lunch!

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Easy Crusty Irish Soda Bread
adapted from MP Welty on Allrecipes
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 50 min
4 cups all purpose or bread flour, stirred and measured
2-4 tablespoons of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (one stick) butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk (or sour milk=1 Tablespoon lemon juice+enough milk to equal 1 cup)
1 extra large egg (if using a smaller egg, use an additional Tablespoon of milk)
For top of loaf:
1 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 Tablespoon milk

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a baking pan or use parchment, or silicone baking sheet.
2. Prepare sour milk, if using. Mix lemon juice with milk and let sit for 5 minutes.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.
4. Cut butter into tablespoon portions and put into the flour. Using a fork or pastry blender, mash the butter pieces into the flour until no butter is visible and flour mixture has pea-sized lumps.
5. In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk (or soured milk) and egg. Pour mixture into flour.
6. Stir with fork or spatula until no dry flour is visible.
7. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Push dough together and roll to form a ball. Resist the urge to knead the dough, as it will toughen it. Put ball of dough onto prepared baking sheet.
9. Cover dough with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
9. Mix the 1 Tablespoon of melted butter with 1 Tablespoon of milk. Brush the entire surface of the dough with mixture.
10. With a sharp knife, cut a large "X", 1/2" deep into the center of the loaf.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, rotating the baking sheet 180° half way during baking, till toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool loaf of bread on a wire rack. Slice and enjoy!

Mix in options: 3/4 cup raisins, craisins, or currents. Can use a gluten free flour mixture, such as Red Mills Gluten free flour.

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