Irish Soda Bread made in a "Bastible" (Look familiar?)

In keeping with the theme this month of making an Irish meal, there is nothing more traditional than  Irish Soda bread. At home, I’ve baked it in a dutch oven (they call it a bastible) ,  in the stove on a cookie  sheet and with variations like caraway seeds, raisins or dried fruits. One time, I entered one of my soda breads at the Celtic Cupboard in Jonesboro for a St. Patrick Day contest and actually won a mug (fancy that!).

There are several excellent sites to find out the history of this bread and some great recipes.

Society of the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread      http://www.sodabread.info/

Peter’s Mum’s recipe    http://www.europeancuisines.com/Peters-Mums-Soda-Bread-Recipe

Interview with Rory O’Connell, founder of the Balymaloe Cookery School      http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/holidays/stpatricks/sodabread

IRISH SODA BREAD

  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking-soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (about) buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly flour baking sheet. Mix flour, caraway seeds, if using, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Mix in enough buttermilk to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball. Turn out onto lightly flour surfaced and knead just until dough holds together, about 1 minute. Shape dough into 6-inch-diameter by 2-inch-high round. Place on a buttered cake pan. Cut 1-inch-deep X across top of bread, extending almost to edges. Put the pan inside a dutch oven and bake until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on bottom, about 35 minutes. Transfer bread to rack and cool completely. If you like a softer crust, cover the bread in a damp towel. Some say not to cut the bread for 6 hours- good luck if you can last that long!

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