So you thought you finally escaped all of the posts on Irish Soda Bread recipes, eh? Ha HA!
Today, there will be 200-and-some more hitting the interwebs, as the baking group, Tuesdays with Dorie, posts about our latest Tuesday project, Irish Soda Bread.
(But just in case you can’t possibly take one. more. soda bread. post, I’m sharing my honey mustard beer butter recipe, which goes great with all sorts of savory breads and bagels.)
I make soda bread often — and not just around March 17th — because I love that it’s ridiculously simple with a high reward factor. It makes a homely loaf, no doubt about it, but it’s also an amazing loaf. A handful of common ingredients — but no yeast — and in under an hour, you have a hearty round that can stand up to any soup, stew or casserole.
This bread’s recipe, in particular, is a perfect study in simplicity: 4 ingredients. Four. Flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk. (Even my super-easy go-to version — Irish soda bread’s cousin, Irish brown bread — has nine.) A few minutes with a bowl and a spoon, a quick kneading on the counter, and it’s ready for the oven. No gimmicks. No chemistry-tricked-out, off-tasting-coffee-mug-cake thing. Just honest-to-goodness bread.
I suspect that many of the other participants in Tuesdays with Dorie will go all out with the add-ins. And really, it’s the perfect blank-slate canvas for things both sweet (raisins, cranberries, chocolate) and savory (herbs, seeds, cheese, onions).
But I always — always — keep mine plain.
The beauty of this bread is in its simplicity.
And to go with your soda bread, here’s a deliciously subtle compound butter made with honey, mustard and, of course, Irish beer.
Honey Mustard Beer Butter
4 ounces (1 stick, 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon honey
1 heaping teaspoon honey or Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon beer
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Before beginning, make sure the butter is soft (but not melted): pressing it with your finger should leave a divot. If the butter is too firm, it will not blend in with the honey, and the honey will seep out in little beads.
2. Use a mixer to mix the butter until very soft and silky (2 to 3 minutes). Drizzle in the honey and continue mixing until well incorporated.
3. Add the mustard, beer and salt, and beat until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Use immediately, or wrap completely and store in the refrigerator or freezer.