Irish Soda Bread and Sage, Rosemary & Honey Butter
We are so excited about St. Patrick's day this year that we have been celebrating it for three days! And what better way to kick off the last day than with some traditional Irish Soda Bread and a delicious butter spread to go with it!
So we will kick into this recipe by starting the soda bread!
Irish Soda Bread
First, let us gather our ingredients and preheat your oven. Set your oven to 400ºF (204ºC) and choose your pan. You can use a regular baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicon baking mat, or you can use a seasoned 10-12 inch cast iron skillet or 5 quart dutch oven, greased or lined with parchment paper. If you are using the dutch oven be sure to bake with the lid off. Now, gather together 1 and 3/4 cups of buttermilk, 1 large egg, 4 and 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour, 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of salt and 5 tablespoons of cold, cubed and unsalted butter.
Now for our bread mixture! Whisk together your buttermilk and egg and set aside, you can do this in your measuring cup. From there, in a bowl, mix together your flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. After you have your dry ingredients mixed together well, add your cubes of butter, when you do this use a pastry cutter, fork or your hands to incorporate the butter. You are going to want to get your butter to a pea-size to get a nice flaky consistency in your bread, this may be a bit difficult due to the amount of flour but you want to be sure that the butter is mixed in with all of your dry ingredients in their pea-sized form, a pastry cutter is easiest for this.
Once you have the dry ingredients and the butter mixed together, you can now slowly incorporate your buttermilk and egg mixture. As you add your milk mixture, gently fold the dough on itself to blend the dry and wet ingredients.
After you have poured your wet ingredients continue to fold the dough gently on itself until it is too stiff to continue.
Pour your now flaky, crumbly dough onto a lightly floured surface and with floured hands begin to work your dough. Try, as best you can, to work your dough into an oblong ball shape. Once you have done this, knead your dough for about 30 - 35 minutes. Be careful not to over-work your dough, you want a nice shaggy consistency. Adversely you also don't want your dough to be too sticky, if you still feel a super sticky consistency once all the flour on your workspace is moist, simply add more flour.
You will want your dough to look roughly like this; you can now gently transfer it to your pan. And we highly suggest shallowly scoring the top of your dough with an "X" to help your bread bake fully through.
You are now ready to pop your bread dough in the oven! The baking process takes roughly 45 minutes depending on your oven so continue to check your bread for a golden crust and a cooked through center. If your oven is burning your crust but your center is not fully baked through simply put a sheet of aluminium over top loosely and continue checking your bread.
Once your bread is finished baking you can pop it out of the oven and let it sit until it gets to room temperature. Once it hits room temperature you can cut it and store it as you wish!
Sage, Rosemary & Honey Butter
Now for our butter. You can easily make this butter as your bread is baking in the oven! All you need is a cube of room temperature butter, 2 teaspoons of sage, 1 teaspoon of rosemary (fresh or dried & powdered) and 1 teaspoon of honey. Now we sourced our spices from our shop of course, but we got our delicious honey from Soozeezbeez just across Commercial Street, so check her out! Also to add a little something, for this we used the Soozeebeez smoked honey, yum yum!!
Now all you need to do is spread out your butter, learn from our mistakes and don't whisk it, it will only get stuck!