I used to really like this recipe for Irish soda bread. Then I made it with sourdough starter for this month's Sourdough Surprise and now I love it! Not that there was anything wrong with the original recipe, it's been in my recipe box for decades and I made it every year around St. Pat's day. It's earthy and a bit sweet thanks to oatmeal and brown sugar. It's great fresh out of the oven with a slab of butter, wonderful toasted and it makes a hearty sandwich.
But this easy sourdough version is even better. A more complex flavor, definitely more moist and a longer shelf life. I don't have to tell you that some soda breads make for good paper weights and door stops after a couple of days!
sourdough Irish soda bread
2 & 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
2/3 cups oatmeal (lightly ground in food processor)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cold butter, cut up
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg (plus one to brush on top)
1 cup sourdough starter (discard is fine)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a stand mixer whisk together flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar; add butter and mix on low until mixture looks crumbly.
In a medium bowl whisk together buttermilk, egg and sourdough starter; add to flour mixture and mix on low until dough forms. Turn out dough on a lightly floured surface and knead smooth. Cut dough in half and form two round loaves.
Transfer loaves to a parchment lined sheet pan. Cut a cross into the top of each loaf. Brush with beaten egg. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until loaves are golden.