Irish Soda Bread, plain

Ingredients:

1 cups organic whole wheat flour
3 cups organic unbleached white flour
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
1 t sugar
2 cups buttermilk

Optional: 1 T caraway seeds, 1/2 cup raisins or currants

Spoon Mage™ Ingredients Note:

When using recipes that measure flour in cups instead of weight, always lightly spoon the flour into your cup. Never scoop by dragging the cup through the package of flour, pack, or tamp it down.

If you like, while you are combining the wet and dry ingredients, increase the sugar to 2 tablespoons, and add one tablespoon of caraway seeds or half a cup of raisins or black currants to the bread.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 F

Measure the dry ingredients in to a large bowl. Use either your hands or a large broad wooden spoon and lightly scoop and drop the flour mixture to aerate.

Add the buttermilk. Quickly stir until the mixture is no longer wet. If you were too light handed with the flour, you may need to add a bit more.

Knead the dough lightly and quickly. A dozen kneading motions should be just right. Too much kneading and stirring will prevent this bread from rising.

Shape into a round loaf the thickness of your fist and place it on a lightly floured baking sheet. Using a very sharp knife, cut a cross into the top. Bake for about 35-45 minutes or until nicely browned.

Remove from the oven and give it the hump test – thump it with your thumb or knuckles and listen for the hollow sound that indicates it is done.

Notice how the thin little knife slices separated as the bread rose forming a pretty cross design.

Wrap the warm loaf in a tea towel (this keeps the crust from being crumbly crispy) and set on the counter to cool a bit.

Serve as you would baking powder biscuits with any meal. Warm slices pair perfectly with soups and stews. Soda bread is, of course, especially tasty with your favorite Irish meal.

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