In the months since Gourmet published its last issue, I have been making do by perusing old issues and flipping through my favorite Jamie Oliver cookbook. But, one can only go so long without fresh culinary inspiration. Yesterday, when the March issue of Bon Appétit landed in my mailbox (the publisher's substitution for my Gourmet subscription), I sighed heavily and threw it on the mail pile. Later, with cup of tea in hand and Olympics in the background, I absently picked it up and started flipping through. While the photography is not nearly as luscious, a lovely little article on Irish soda bread caught my attention. So simple, and somehow exactly what I have been craving. I think perhaps Bon Appétit and I are making friends.
Mrs. O'Callaghan's Soda Bread
nonstick vegetable oil spray
3 cups all purpose flour
3 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (packed) brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled margarine or butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes 2 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray heavy baking sheet with nonstick spray. Whisk both flours, sugar, and baking soda in medium bowl to blend. Add margarine and cut in until margarine is reduced to pea-size pieces. Add buttermilk; stir until shaggy dough forms. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until dough comes together, about 10 turns. Shape dough into 7-inch round. Place dough on prepared baking sheet. Cut large X, 1/2 inch deep, in top of dough. Bake bread until deep brown and bottom sounds hollow when firmly tapped, about 40 minutes. Transfer bread to rack and cool completely.
(recipe from Bon Appétit, March 2010)