Classic Irish Soda Bread
~makes 1 loaf~
Recipe Source: Baking Illustrated
3 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 c. cake flour
2 T. sugar
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. cream of tartar
1 1/2 t. salt
2 T. unsalted butter, softened, plus 1 T. melted butter for brushing on the crust
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Using your fingers work the softened butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse crumbs.
2. Add the buttermilk and mix with a fork until the dough begins to come together. Turn the dough out on a floured counter and knead 12-14 times, just until dough is cohesive and lumpy. (Don't over knead, or the soda bread will be tough.)
3. Shape the dough in to a round about 6 inches in diameter and 2 inches high. Place on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Using a large serrated knife score a large X on the loaf, 5 inches long and 3/4 inch deep.
4. Bake until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with the melted butter. Cool to room temperature before serving.