Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Brown Butter Soda Bread

This evening, I am making the traditional St. Patrick's Day dinner of corned beef & cabbage. It's my first time attempting it, as we usually go to my Mom's house for the holiday. I won't be documenting the meal, due to the fact that we will be eating late. But, I did make the bread early enough to share that!
My Mom makes the best Irish soda bread. We've already had quite a bit of it over the past few days. She makes hers with raisins. And if there are raisins in anything, I can be guaranteed that the Bozo's will go no where near it.
Irish soda bread is an American tradition. It's typically made with raisins & caraway seeds. Ironically, they don't make Irish soda bread in Ireland...there, it's called Brown bread & has neither of those ingredients in it. I am hoping the Bozo's will eat it, as I see very little corned beef & cabbage being ingested by them tonight.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Then, start by preparing the dry ingredients. Scoop & level 3 1/2 cups of flour into a large mixing bowl. Add a 1/2 cup dry oats,

a tablespoon of sugar,

a tablespoon of caraway seeds, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, a teaspoon of baking soda & a teaspoon of salt.

Whisk everything up. Next, heat a 1/2 stick of unsalted butter over medium heat. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until the butter turns brown.

Then, measure out 1 3/4 cups of buttermilk.

Add the butter & buttermilk to the dry ingredients & using a fork, mix until it's starting to come together in a uniform dough. Roll out onto a floured work surface & knead about 7 times. Do not over work the dough, as this will make the bread tough. If your dough is very sticky, just sprinkle it with flour to keep your hands from sticking.

Cut the dough in half. Form each half into a ball & place on an ungreased baking sheet.

Whisk 1 egg white in a small bowl & brush the tops of loaves. Sprinkle on some extra caraway seeds. Then, using a sharp knife, cut an X in the top.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Another good way to test if it's done is to tap the bottom of the loaf. If it sounds hollow, it's done. Serve with butter...preferably Kerrygold.

Brown Butter Soda Bread

Adapted from Bon Appétit, February 2006
Makes 2 loaves

3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon caraway seed, plus more for top of loaves
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
beaten egg white

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Combine the flour, oats, sugar, caraway seeds, baking powder, baking soda & salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to blend.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, stirring, until it begins to brown {about 3 minutes}. Add the melted butter & buttermilk to the dry ingredients. Stir with a fork until the flour mixture is moistened.
Dump the dough out onto a floured work surface & knead gently, until the dough just comes together {about 7 turns}, do not overwork the dough! Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a ball. Place the rounds on an ungreased baking sheet, spacing about 5" apart. Brush the tops with the egg white & sprinkle with caraway seeds. Using a sharp knife, cut a 1/2" deep X in the top of each loaf.
Bake until the bread is golden brown & a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack & cool for 30 minutes before serving. Serve the bread warm with butter.
Click here for the printable recipe.


Anonymous said...

I cooked this bread last week and have made it twice since. Really enjoyed it, thanks again for sharing. Regards, Luke from Ireland.

tinytearoom said...

Gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous. I can imagine myself sitting by the oven watching this bread baking like it is a miracle unfolding.

Anonymous said...

i just put two loaves in one with raisins one without, really excited to see how it turns out ill post back soon...maria

ariadnek said...

Should this be 3/4 cups buttermilk and not 1 3/4? I added the full 1 3/4, and my dough is best, perhaps, described as loose and floppy - at worst, like drop biscuits.

katie said...

@Ariadnek - The buttermilk is indeed 1 3/4 cups. This dough is a bit on the wet side, and is a lot like a drop biscuit dough as you described. It turns out great for me though and I've made it many times!
Just be sure you measured all of the dry ingredients properly?
If you did, you'll need a liberally floured work surface to turn the dough out onto (I like to use a large wooden cutting board). Flour your hands as well. The dough should be worked into a mound, similar to shaping a meatloaf...you won't get a "ball" out of this dough. Cut the mound in half with a bench scraper or a sharp knife, and then work each half into another mound. Transfer to your baking sheet, slice an "X" into the top of each and brush with egg wash. I like to sprinkle some extra caraway seeds or oats on the top of mine. Then just bake as directed above. I really love this bread. I hope you end up liking it as well!

KEW said...

All purpose flour? Bread flour? I need all the help I can get when it comes to baking instructions!

Visit my site for Health Insurance Indiana company said...

I made this last night with cranberries and it was AWESOME. Thanks!

katie said...

cranberries sound amazing! glad you liked it!

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