For the Feast of St. Brigid today or the Feast of St. Patrick later or any of our wonderful Irish saints. This recipe is so easy, I usually have it ready to go in the pan before the oven has finished preheating!
White Soda Bread
4 cups (16 oz) of all purpose flour.
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1 Teaspoon salt
14 oz of buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 425 F. degrees. Lightly grease a 2 inch tall cake pan or use a Dutch oven. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. I like to give it a good mix with a mixing spoon. Add the buttermilk to form a sticky dough. Place on floured surface and lightly knead. DOn't get heavy handed with it! Too much kneading and the gas escapes making your bread heavy and thick like a brick. Shape into a round flat shape in a round cake pan and cut a cross in the top of the dough.
Cover the pan with another pan and bake for 30 minutes (this simulates the bastible pot) if you aren't using a Dutch oven.
Remove cover and bake for an additional 15 minutes. It turns out a delicious, rugged crunchy outside but a soft, melt in your mouth inside. The bottom of the bread will have a hollow sound when tapped so show it is done. Cover the bread in a tea towel and lightly sprinkle water on the cloth to keep the bread moist. Slice it thick while it's still warm or let it cool completely and you can slice it thinner. Don't forget the butter!