Happy St. Patrick’s Day-Eve! I hope that this post finds you healthy and able to use this self-quarantine time to bake.
I typically make a sweeter version of soda bread to serve for breakfast on St. Patrick’s Day. This savory version was a nice change. It was reminiscent of the rosemary biscuits that my husband and I enjoy at our annual anniversary dinner at Volt in Frederick, MD. I loved that it incorporated whole wheat flour.
This recipe is from Midwest Made: Big, Bold Baking from the Heartland by Shauna Sever. I used coarse salt and decreased the baking time. We ate it with salted Irish butter. It was wonderful- very moist and tender.
Yield: One 8-inch loaf
- 2 cups (256 g) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for dusting
- 2 cups (240 g) 100% whole wheat flour, spooned and leveled
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda, sifted
- 1 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp coarse salt or fine sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 4 T (57 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch (1.25 cm) pieces
- 2 cups (450 g) cold, well-shaken buttermilk, plus more for brushing
- 1 T honey
- 1 big pinch to 1 tsp flaky sea salt, for sprinkling, optional
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 425°F/220°C, preferably on convection.
- Line a 12×17-inch rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper and dust it with flour.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole wheat flour, baking soda, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
- Add the butter pieces to the flour mixture. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles a coarse meal.
- In a large measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk and honey.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk mixture.
- First use a large flexible spatula, a then your hands, to mix the dough into a sticky mass. Be careful not to over-mix.
- Turn out the dough onto the prepared baking sheet and shape it into 6-inch/15 cm ball.
- Use a large, floured sharp knife to slice a deep “X” across the top of the bread, about halfway through the ball.
- Lightly brush the loaf with buttermilk. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt, if desired. (I used a large pinch.)
- Bake at 425°F/220°C for 15 minutes.
- Rotate the pan and lower the temperature to 350°F/180°C and bake for 27 to 35 minutes more, or until the bread id deeply golden and sounds hollow when tapped.
- Remove the bread from the pan and let cool on a wire rack.