If you're not familiar with soda bread other than as something that may appear on restaurant menus around St. Patrick's Day, recipe developer Jessica Morone explains that the appeal lies in how quickly they can be baked. As she tells us, "Soda breads are great and so easy because the baking soda in them is what makes the bread rise, so you don't have to wait around for the bread to rise before you bake it." This can cut a few hours off the bread-making time, plus you're spared all of that kneading.
While Morone admits that honey or a sweetener of any sort is an atypical ingredient for soda bread, she tells us, "I love the little bit of sweetness it adds to the bread." Still, this bread isn't anything along the lines of the more cake-like banana bread or pumpkin bread. Morone does say it can be eaten with jam or butter, but notes that "You could also use it as a bread for your sandwiches."
Read more: 30 Tools Aspiring Home Bakers Need To Have
Gather The Ingredients For The Honey Oatmeal Soda Bread
Although this bread is made with all-purpose flour, it's also supplemented with oat flour that you'll make from grinding your own oats. While Morone feels that "Old fashioned oats provide more texture generally than quick oats," she does say that quick oats will work just fine for this recipe. In addition to these two ingredients, you'll also need baking soda, salt, honey, buttermilk, and butter.
Make The Bread Dough
Preheat the oven to 400 F since, as we've already noted, soda bread doesn't need to rise and will be ready to bake as soon as the dough is prepared. Next, make the oat flour by grinding the oats in a food processor, then mix this with the all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt. Once you stir in the buttermilk and honey, you should have something that resembles dough.
If it seems a bit dry, though, Morone advises stirring in a tablespoon of buttermilk at a time to remedy the problem. "It should be a pretty stiff dough that holds its shape," she notes, but adds that it shouldn't be so dry that you can't mix in all of the flour.
Shape The Bread Dough
Dust a bit more flour over a work surface and some on your hands, as well, then scoop up the dough and shape it into a ball. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and use it to grease a 10-inch round ovenproof pan. Morone enthuses, "I love baking soda bread in a cast iron skillet because it makes the crust really crispy," but she allows that a cake pan can also be used as long as it's the right size and shape.
Before the pan goes into the oven, take a knife and cut a large cross ½-inch deep into the top. Morone explains that this is to help the soda bread cook more evenly since, as she says, "When the crust is cooked, the inside of the bread won't be raw." After you've cut the cross, melt that last bit of remaining butter and brush it over the top of the bread dough.
Bake The Soda Bread
Bake the soda bread for 45 to 50 minutes. When it's done, the top should look golden brown and the bits inside the cross-shaped cut should no longer appear raw. You can also try tapping the bottom of the pan to see whether the bread makes a hollow sound as it should when cooked.
Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then move it to a wire rack to finish cooling. While Morone feels that "This bread is best the day it's made when it's fresh and warm," she acknowledges that not everyone is going to be able to gobble an entire loaf before it cools. In this case, she says you can keep it at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for a week, or you can freeze it for long-term storage.
Honey Oatmeal Soda Bread Recipe
Prep Time: 15mCook Time: 45mYield: 1 LoafIngredients
2 cups old-fashioned oats
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons honey
1 ½ cups buttermilk
1 ½ tablespoons butter
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Put the oats into a food processor and pulse until they are finely ground.
In a large bowl whisk together the ground oats, flour, baking soda and salt.
Add in the honey and buttermilk. Mix together until well combined.
Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and use floured hands to work the dough into a smooth ball.
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Pour it into the bottom of a 10-inch cast iron skillet.
Transfer the dough to the prepared skillet. Use a knife to cut a large cross about ½-inch deep in the top of the dough.
Melt the remaining ½ tablespoon butter and brush it over the top of the dough.
Bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, until the bread is golden brown and the center appears cooked. If you tap the bottom of the bread it should sound hollow.
Carefully remove the skillet from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
Serve warm with the topping of your choice.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.