Irish Soda Bread
This is a recipe I developed that was based on a recipe found on http://www.sodabread.info/, "The Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread". (NOTE: Using their quantities with the flour I use, I get a dough that would be more accurately called a batter. It's that thin.) While many will add other ingredients like sugar, currants or raisins, caraway seeds, etc, by tradition, this makes it a cake. Some even add booze of one sort or another and on our trips to Ireland, speaking to the good folks running B&Bs and in bakeries, they call this the "Americanization" of the bread.
So, they say, as does the site above, TRUE Irish Soda Bread has 4 ingredients, flour, buttermilk, salt and baking soda, technically 5, I guess, if you consider 2 types of flour 2 separate ingredients.
A couple of ingredient notes:
I use the milk I have in the fridge soured with lemon juice. I've tried vinegar and actually bought plenty of buttermilk, but I find the lemon juice way best. I put 3 tbs of juice in a bowl or measuring cup and then add milk to 375 gms (~ 1-1/2 cups).
For flour, I use Robin Hood, a brand most widely used locally, and I believe across Canada.
250 gms whole wheat flour
250 gms white all purpose (regular or unbleached) flour
6 gms salt (I use fine sea salt)
8 gms baking soda
375 gms buttermilk (see notes above)
Preheat oven to 425, do not preheat Dutch oven (or whatever you're using to bake it in - see note below)
Mix the dry ingredients well (I use a large whisk), make a well in the middle.
Add the buttermilk and using the handle of a wooden spoon, quickly mix until nearly all flour is incorporated. This should give you a fairly wet & sticky shaggy dough.
Turn out onto a well floured board or work surface, and knead & fold a few times. Shape into a flat disc ~ 1-1/2-2" thick.
Score an X with a wetted sharp or serrated knife and place into a greased Dutch oven. Cover and place in the preheated for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
I have tried this with preheated pans and it never turns out right.
I haven't tried this with any sort of clay bakeware, but I would imagine it would work, but times will probably need adjusting. I don't own a la Cloche but would be interested to read the results of someone who used one.
In place of a Dutch oven, I have used 2 cast iron frying pans of the same size, using one as a cover.
I find the flavour best before it's completely cooled, and definitely better the same day, as opposed to leftover a day or 2.