Irish soda bread is a quick bread made using baking soda as the leavening agent, not yeast. A denser bread, it only lasts a day or two but is best enjoyed the day that you make it.This one has some seeds and oatmeal for texture, and pairs well with soups, stews, or baked beans on a blustery winter day. I like to serve it in thick slices with cheese and a veggie plate to compliment the meal.
2 cups flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup large flake oats
1/4 cup whole raw pumpkin seeds, hulled
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup whole milk
Pre-heat oven to 425 F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, whole wheat flour, oats, pumpkin seeds, baking soda, and salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and butter. Slowly add the milks in a steady stream, whisking as you go, so that the butter doesn’t become cold and clump all back up again.
Dump the milk mixture into the flour, stirring with a wooden spoon as you go. The dough will be sticky, but workable. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and bring together with your hands before separating in half and shaping into two rounds about 6 inches in diameter.
Place the loaves onto a cookie sheet and place in the oven at 425 F for 15 minutes, before turning the oven temperature down to 350 F for another 30 minutes until the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove loaves to a wire rack and allow to cool for about an hour before slicing into them.
These are best eaten the same day, but you can make them last about a day or two if they are stored wrapped well in an airtight container.
Makes 2 x 6-inch loaves
Adapted from John Bishop’s Fresh