Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread
Among the somewhat muddled pool of my ancestry is a bit of Irish heritage, but I’m not exactly well-versed in the food culture of Ireland. What I do know how to make is Irish soda bread, and I thought I’d share my whole wheat version with you.
It only takes 4 ingredients to make traditional Irish soda bread: flour, (Irish style flour is made from soft wheat – which has less gluten than bread flour – thus the use of light whole wheat pastry flour in this recipe), baking soda, salt, and buttermilk (the lactic acid in the buttermilk reacts with the baking soda, effectively creating tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide in the dough).
Recipes for soda bread that contain sugar, eggs, butter, and/or add-ins such as raisins – although tasty – have been Americanized.
This simple rustic loaf requires no yeast, kneading, or rising, rendering it ideal for the homemade bread phobic. You can have a freshly made loaf on the table in less than 40 minutes, which is perfect for those of you with busy schedules.
Now, this is not a slice-thin-and-build-a-sandwich loaf of bread.
This is tear-off-a-hunk-and-dunk-into-hearty-soup bread.
Thanks to the buttermilk in the dough, the flavor of this loaf is reminiscent of biscuits… without all of the butter, of course. Since there is no butter in the actual dough, a bit of high quality butter smeared onto the freshly baked bread is definitely a good idea .
In keeping with the Irish theme, I opted for this phenomenal Kerrygold butter, which I think tastes exceptionally good. This premium butter comes from grass-fed cattle, and is worth the splurge… especially if you’re making Irish soda bread!