Trust me - this tastes better than it looks.
I decided to make Irish soda bread a few a few weekends ago on the kind of rainy day that made going to the store seem as daunting as running that half marathon I keep thinking I'll eventually get around to training for. Or not.
Remembering this recipe from the wonderful Jennifer Perillo, I decided to give it a go, substituting whole-wheat flour for oat flour.
My toddler Dahlia had a marvelous time helping me mix the dough, which doesn't need kneading so much as a good smoosh for it to all come together. She is a great smoosher and, I learned, shares her mama's taste for raw dough.
The whole-wheat flour gave the bread the wheaty, earthy flavor I remember from brown breads I ate in Ireland. These breads, by the way, are about as far from the raisin- and caraway-spotted loaves we call Irish soda bread here as I am from actually running a half marathon. That's pretty far.
In any case, try this bread for St. Patrick's or any other day because it's wonderful. It's moist, crunchy-crusty, toasty, and tastes fantastic with some salty butter smeared on the damp crumb. The bread tastes best warm from the oven, but will last a few days if you wrap it in a dishtowel for storing. And if you want to add raisins and caraway, go right ahead. Dahlia will definitely approve.
By the way, since I made this over a weekend, the photos are not by Olga, aka Sassyradish, which explains why they are not as mouthwateringly gorgeous as they should be. But use your imagination.
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting and sprinkling
2 tablespoons demerara sugar
1 3/4 teaspoons (12 grams) baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons (6 grams) kosher salt
1 cup heavy cream or whole milk, more for brushing
1 cup whole plain yogurt
1. Arrange rack in center of oven. Preheat to 400ºF.
2. Add flours, sugar, baking soda and salt to a deep bowl. Whisk together to mix well. Pour in cream and yogurt and stir using a wooden spoon until just combined.
3. Lightly flour a clean countertop or large cutting board. Dump dough onto surface and knead briefly, 30 to 60 seconds until it forms a relatively smooth ball. Place on a lightly floured rimmed baking sheet. Slightly flatten ball of dough.
4. Brush sides and top with remaining cream or milk. Sprinkle top with a little flour. Using a very sharp knife, slash a deep "X" on the top of the loaf, making sure not to cut all the way through.
5. Bake for about 40-45 minutes until it becomes a deep golden color and it sounds hollow when tapped with your knuckle. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for at least an hour before slicing.