Soda bread offers a mild, smooth texture, flavor

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By Deanna Godman

I discovered Irish soda bread the first time I went to the Irish Rover in Louisville 7 or 8 years ago. I love their fish and chips but the soda bread holds a special place in my heart. It is my favorite item at the Rover, and I order my food as quickly as I can so my basket of bread will arrive sooner than later.

The bread has a fine texture and mild wheat flavor. It is wonderful with just a bit of butter, although I’m sure homemade jam would be good with it too.
I found the recipe online while looking for ideas for my St. Patrick’s Day menu a couple of years ago. I had a soda bread recipe that called for dried fruit, but I wanted something closer to the Irish Rover’s recipe. I did a Google search for soda bread recipes similar to the Irish Rover, and actually found their recipe posted.
I have made the bread several times since, and have learned from experience not to work the dough too much otherwise the resulting bread could become tough.
Many Irish soda bread recipes call for raisins or other dried fruits. These recipes are not traditional Irish breads though, and are an American tradition. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I prefer this old-fashioned method.
For more recipes from the Irish Rover, see Deanna’s blog at http://blog.funmama.net. If you have a recipe you would like to share, contact Deanna at ideas@funmama.net.

Irish soda bread

1 cup white flour
2 cups whole wheat flour, preferably coarse
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 T. butter
1 + cups of buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Stir dry ingredients together with a fork. Cut butter into dry mix. Make a well in the center and pour in buttermilk. Stir to mix well, making a slightly sticky dough. Turn out onto floured surface. Working the dough as little as possible, pat it into a round loaf. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Lower heat to 375 and continue baking for 30-40 minutes. Bread is done if tapping the bottom of the loaf produces a hollow sound.

A spoonful of brown sugar may also be added to the dry ingredients for a sweeter loaf.
Cook Time: 45 Min