This bread is so simple and delicious I can't believe I haven't made it before. You can see Marion Cunningham making soda bread with Julia Child here. It takes just a few minutes to assemble and mix the ingredients and minimum handling to shape it. No special pans needed...it can be baked in a pie plate. The Irish peasants, who didn't have ovens, cooked theirs in cast iron pots called bastibles over an open turf fire. The ingredients are things they would have had and could afford; wheat they had grown themselves for the flour, buttermilk left over from making butter, bread soda, and salt.
I couldn't wait for my dinner guests to arrive...I cut a slice, slathered it with some Kerry Gold butter and it was love at first bite! It has a lovely, chewy crust and a dense, moist crumb and just a faint tangy taste from the buttermilk. My dinner guests made fast work of devouring this loaf and I had to make another one for corned beef sandwiches and toast. I can't wait to try the non-traditional version known as "soda cake" with some currants or other dried fruit and some orange zest.
Lessons learned: I baked the loaf in a heavy Chantal pie plate which worked fine, but the bottom center crust was not quite as crisp as the rest of the loaf, possibly because of buttering the surface. Next time, I'll place the pie plate on top of my pizza stone during baking or pull the loaf out of the plate and place it directly on the oven rack for the last few minutes.
This Tuesday's hosts are Carla of Chocolate Moosey and Cathleen of My Culinary Mission. You'll find the recipe at their blogs or you can buy the book by clicking on the image over here----->.