The theme at Sourdough Surprises this month was Irish soda bread (of course). I was excited because I had made it once, and knew how good it was. Plus it was popping up on blogs everywhere so I was already craving it.
From what I’ve seen, there are several variations on this bread. I’ve seen a few versions with seeds and raisins, some without butter, and some with a lot of butter. This one is more of the latter: the biscuit type :)
You know I love biscuits, so having them in bread form is like heaven on earth. Cutting the butter into the flour adds a little more work, but other than that, this bread is really easy.
I wanted to keep it traditional, so I only added the sourdough as a flavor enhancer, and let the baking soda do its work. But you could also let it rise before baking for a fluffier bread. Also, since the sourdough adds the acidic component that the baking soda needs, you don’t really need to use buttermilk, but I used it anyway, to keep it extra biscuity.
Verdict: this bread was so good. Seriously. My dad called it the best bread I ever made, even if it isn’t technically a bread. So yeah, it was really good.
The only problem I had was that the bottom got a little burnt. So if you give it a try, I’d recommend that you bake it near the top of the oven to prevent this issue. And don’t forget to cover it in foil if the top starts to get too toasty.
Check out the rest of the gorgeous sourdough Irish soda breads the guys made, then scroll down for the recipe!
Sourdough Irish Soda Bread
Recipe by Sabor Pastel
Yield: a big loaf (12-16 slices)
3 cups flour
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
100 g / 3.5 oz butter, cold
1 cup sourdough starter
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup buttermilk
1. Preheat the oven to 410ºF.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
3. Cut the butter in cubes and crumble it into the flour, using a pastry blender or spatula, until it resembles coarse sand.
4. Make a well in the middle and add the sourdough starter and the honey.
5. Mix the ingredients into a dough, adding buttermilk as needed. The dough should be soft but not sticky.
6. Shape the dough into a round loaf and place it on a greased baking sheet. Make an X shaped cut in the top.
7. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Non-sourdough version: add 1/2 cup of flour to the dry ingredients, and 1/2 cup of water along with the honey.