It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day, a day for feasting on corned beef, colcannon, and soda bread! This whole-grain version of the popular quick bread is similar to what it originally tasted like, before the advent of processed all-purpose white flour. An 1836 recipe recommended “a good wheaten meal” for making soda bread – like Community Grains flour!
Soda bread is a quick, easy recipe that pairs wonderfully with stews, corned beef, and sauteed greens.
Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread
Makes one 9-inch loaf
Adapted from Martha Rose Shulman for The New York Times
3 2/3 cups Community Grains Hard Red Winter Wheat Whole Grain Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
2 cups buttermilk (more as needed)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.
Place the flour in a large, wide bowl and sift in the baking soda and salt. Mix in with your hands or with a wide spatula. Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour in the buttermilk.
Mix in the flour from the sides of the bowl to the center using a wide rubber spatula, a wide wooden spoon or your hands, turning the bowl and sweeping the flour from the sides into the buttermilk. Mix just until the buttermilk have been incorporated into the flour, then scrape out onto a lightly floured work surface. The dough should be soft and a bit sticky. Flour your hands so it won’t stick to them.
Gently shape dough into a ball, then with floured hands gently pat it down to a 2-inch high round, about 9 inches in diameter. Place it on the parchment-lined baking sheet and cut a 1/2-inch deep cross across the top.
Place in the oven and bake 20 minutes at 450 degrees. Turn down the heat to 375 degrees and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the loaf responds with a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom. Remove from the oven, wrap loosely in a cloth or kitchen towel, and cool on a rack. Enjoy with friends and a good stout beer!