This same thing is true for Irish-inspired goods. Good grief! If it's tasty, don't confine it to March. Celebrate all year long!
This recipe is especially worth celebrating because it's soft, tender, and awesome. I tried another soda bread recipe a few years ago and it almost made me swear off that type of bread entirely. It was so DRY. Not even copious amounts of butter could compensate for that Sahara of bread.
This bread, on the other hand, is so soft and yummy it doesn't even need butter. Oh, it WANTS butter. There's a difference.
I also opted for a non-raisin bread to suit the other tastes in my household, but you can always add raisins or currants.
Irish Soda Bread
From A Bird in the Kitchen, which adapted the recipe from Cook's Illustrated.
3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (you can make your own)
Preheat oven to 400-degrees.
Whisk together all of the dry ingredients. Work 3 tablespoons of butter into mixture with a pastry blender or your fingertips until it resembles coarse crumbs; just as with making pie crust, you want those bits of butter in there.
Add the buttermilk and stir until just combined. Knead in the bowl until the dough just starts to come together and is still craggy and bumpy, adding more buttermilk if necessary. Don't over-knead or the bread will be tough and dense.
Tuck the ends under to form a ball and place in a skillet or Dutch oven. Bake, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes or until internal temperature registers 180⁰F.
Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and brush onto the loaf. Let cool to room temperature.
OM NOM NOM.