Irish Cheddar White Soda Bread

The grand symbol of Ireland’s baking,    is defined not by the baking  but by the soft  wheat that grows in Ireland. Low in gluten and protein, the soft  wheat receives a boost from baking , invented in the 1800s and an immediate game changer for  baking. Slashed with a cross and pricked to release heat—or fairies?—our traditional   is enhanced with strong  , fresh dill, and ground black pepper.

  • 3⅔ cups (458 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons (4.5 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) baking soda
  • 1 cup (113 grams) course grated Irish aged white Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 tablespoon (2 grams) chopped fresh dill
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground black pepper
  • 2 cups (480 grams) whole buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda until well combined. Stir in ⅔ cup (75 grams) cheese, dill, and pepper. Make a well in center, and add buttermilk. Using your hand like a claw, mix buttermilk into dry ingredients, working from center to outside of bowl, just until combined and a ball of dough forms. (Dough should be sticky and slightly clumpy.)
  3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Using floured hands, gently shape into a round. Turn dough over, and tuck and rotate dough until edges are rounded and even. Transfer to a sheet of parchment paper, and pat into a 1½-inch-thick disk. Using a knife dipped in flour, cut a 1-inch-deep “X” across top of dough. Using tip of knife, prick a hole into each of the four sections of dough. Sprinkle remaining ⅓ cup (38 grams) cheese on top. Transfer on parchment paper to a baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 400°F (200°C), and bake until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in a section of bread registers 200°F (93°C), 15 to 20 minutes more. (If you tap bottom of loaf, it should sound hollow.) Remove from pan, and place on a wire rack. Let cool enough to handle, about 30 minutes. Best served warm.
Hollow Note: Perfectly baked soda bread doesn’t just have a golden look and tender texture—it makes a lovely hollow sound when knocked with a knuckle. Give the bottom a tap to hear the echo of a well-baked loaf.




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