Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread

Mar 12th

The other day we were having healthy soup for dinner; a dinner of soup becomes much more exciting with some bread on the side. I was going to make these go-to buttermilk biscuits, but they’re so delicious that I wouldn’t be able to eat just one, and I’d had my lunch with a side of ice cream.

I was Pinterest searching “yeast free dinner rolls” and after sifting through some disappointing results I remembered this soda bread which was already on here – I had all of the ingredients and as I remember, it was a big hit – crusty with a tender inside, and pretty healthy to boot. There is just a hint of sweetness from the brown sugar and the buttered top is craggy and salty.

My cousin Katie asked me the other day what I usually do with leftover buttermilk – I told her I make the biscuits linked above with our dinner; however, this soda bread is a much healthier option! Also, Katie, if I forget to tell you, you can FREEZE buttermilk. If you do it in tablespoon amounts (like in an ice cube tray), you can take out the exact amount you need (1 c. is equal to 16 tablespoons). Don’t have buttermilk? Make clabbered milk. Place 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. white vinegar into the bottom of a 2 c. liquid measuring cup, then fill to the 1 1/2 c. mark with regular milk. Stir, wait fifteen minutes – voila!

Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

Serves 8

1 1/2 c. all purpose flour

2 c. white whole wheat flour

1/2 c. toasted wheat germ

3 tbsp. brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

1 1/2 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 1/2 c. plus 2 tbsp. buttermilk

1. Adjust oven rack to upper middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Whisk flours, wheat germ, brown sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt in a large mixing bowl until combined.

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3. Cut in the butter – You want to do this with your fingertips; just pinch butter between your fingers in the dry ingredients until the clumps are broken up. Essentially you want to make the butter “disappear” into the flour mixture.

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4. Add 1 1/2 c. buttermilk and stir in until dough begins to come together. If dough seems to dry, add remaining buttermilk, 1 tablespoon at a time.

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5. Turn out onto floured work surface and knead/turn the dough until dough becomes cohesive. Pat the dough into a 3 inch high disk, about 6-8 inches in diameter.

7. Place dough on parchment or silpat lined cookie sheet.

8. Score the dough by making a large cross on the top (5 inches long, about 3/4 of an inch deep).

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9. Bake for 45 minutes, or until bread is deep brown. Brush with melted butter, if desired.

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11. Cool about 30 minutes before cutting.

 

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