I like soda bread, I do, but not as much as the average person might? I find it a little bland, I know it's supposed to be bland by nature; a perfect vehicle rather for warm salty butter, jam or even ham. I just kicked up this soda bread up by adding in a bit of sugar and some browned butter to the top of it halfway thru baking. One could easily argue that I took the classic white soda bread paired it with the Irish version minus the caraway seeds and raisins, AND also a mixing of the browned butter soda bread minus the rosemary. Finding a happy middle in there somewhere. If you'd like a little history on the various types of soda breads and how they came about click here at epicurious. It's quite a good read and it tells you why you need to score a cross on the top of the bread before baking. What's your favorite soda bread(s)?
browned butter soda bread
3 cups white all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 TB of baking soda
1 ts baking powder
1 ts cream of tartar
¼ cup of superfine sugar*
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 and ½ cups buttermilk, room temp
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease up a regular loaf pan with olive oil.
Sift all of the dry ingredients, (not the oatmeal), into a large mixing bowl. Next add in the oatmeal and mix. Add in (slowly) the buttermilk. Mix with your hands until you have a very loose dough. I gave it about 4-6 turns. You do not want to overmix as you will start the gluten process and this will give you a dense loaf. No kneading! Recipe from dawn finicane of vanillasugarblog.com Put dough into greased loaf pan. Push batter down gently into the corners. Then score a cross on the top. You’re going to cook this loaf for about 45 minutes or until a cake tester in middle comes out clean. But halfway thru baking you pour on the browned butter.
6 TB unsalted butter cut into TB chunks. Place in med-heat saucepan. Watch until butter is browned, has brown specks on bottom all the while whisking while it’s browning away. Just when it turns golden brown and has a nutty aroma – it’s done. Take off heat. Let cool a bit then pour on load halfway thru cooking. Ok to poke a few small tiny tiny holes in bread to let butter slide in there nice and happy.
*Note: if you don’t have superfine sugar, just run regular white sugar thru a food processer until fine.