After I made my first Irish soda bread for St. Patrick's Day a couple of years ago I started looking for a more healthful, savory version. I really liked the raisin-sweetened white flour version, but like most sweet treats it is meant to be enjoyed occasionally, as a treat. But because it was so easy to make and had such a wonderful bread-like consistency achieved without yeast or long risings, I wanted to see if I could find a savory version that contained whole wheat flour and no sugar.
An internet search brought up a recipe from Claire Robinson, who had (has?) a show on the food channel called "5 Ingredient Fix." Not counting salt and pepper and maybe a few other ingredients considered staples, the show features recipes that can be made from 5 or less ingredients. When I first started watching it I assumed it would involve opening a lot of boxes and cans a la Sandra Lee, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the recipes contained fresh ingredients and involved actual cooking. And what she was cooking looked good.
I was not particularly tempted to try any of them, but when I went searching for a savory soda bread recipe that did not contain raisins and found this recipe I decided to give it a try, based on what I had seen from her show.
And I was not disappointed. It was delicious. And ridiculously easy. It has become one of my staple bread recipes. It is the perfect recipe for those times when I have neither the time nor the inclination to play with yeast but I want bread. And it holds up beautifully to sandwiches and toasting.
When I am making it just for myself I will halve the recipe and I have enough bread for about a week. From the thought of bread to a lovely loaf cooling on your counter in less than an hour, this is the one that you want.
Home Cookin Chapter: Breads and Muffins
SAVORY SODA BREAD
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading surface
3 cups whole-wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 tsp kosher salt
2 cups buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, oats and salt. Pour in most of the buttermilk and mix well, adding more buttermilk, if needed, to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and lightly knead into a shapeable dough. Avoid overworking it.
Shape the dough into a round disk shaped loaf and cut a deep "X" in the top with a sharp knife. Put the dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 7 minutes at 425 degrees F. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. and bake another 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven to a cutting board. Cool slightly before cutting and enjoy warm!
Exported from Home Cookin 8.63 (www.mountainsoftware.com)