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KETTLE-BAKED SODA BREAD

Soda bread was originally baked in a covered casserole over a wood-burning fire.  Today we can simulate that experience in our modern ovens by baking soda bread in a deep covered kettle.  My favorite vessel is a 5 quart Le Creuset pot.

Soda breads expand better in this hot moist oven within an oven.  The crumb is dense and still tender; the crust is surprisingly dark and chewy.  By combining baking strategies of the past with modern technology, we can enjoy the best of both worlds.

 

 

***** IRISH SODA BREAD *****

 

Ingredients:

 

Butter

2 cups unbleached flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly butter the bottom of a 4 quart covered pot or casserole.

 

Mix the flour, baking soda and salt together well.  Stir  in the milk only until the dough forms a cohesive ball.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead for 1 minute.  Shape it into a slightly flattened cushion and lower it into the casserole.  Make a 1-1/2" deep cross in the top of the dough, cover, and bake it for 45 minutes.

 

Lift the bread onto a rack to cool, at least 15 minutes.  Slice thin and serve.

 

Yield: 1 loaf: 4-6 servings