Soda Bread

I’ve often bought a loaf of Irish soda bread when I see it in the supermarket in early March, partly just for a change and partly because I do like substantial breads more than soft fluffy ones. When Stephanie linked to the soda bread site in her Saint Patrick’s Day post I clicked through to it. I have to say I like it a lot, mostly for its insistence on basic logic.

Of course, I wanted to try a recipe. I did the brown bread recipe verbatim, except for cutting a tic-tac-toe board instead of an X in the top, and except that I neglected to cover it with a tea towel while it was cooling. So here’s the story —

Ready to put in the oven:

In the middle of baking, at the point that I took off the cover (this stuff was originally baked in a dutch oven. Putting it in a cake pan and covering with an inverted cake pan for the first 2/3 of the baking time is a reasonable substitute.)

Cooling, the first guest of honor on the antique baker’s rack we got on Craig’s List two weekends ago. Doesn’t it look like a good oomphy loaf of bread?

I’m not going to make it all the time, but I like the result. This is bread that’s really food, not fluff that can keep sandwich ingredients off your hands. This is sustenance that gave people the strength to work the fields, cut the peat, and build the railroads.

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