My Grandma's Five-Ingredient Irish Soda Bread Tastes Just Like Hers

Another quick and simple bread recipe that quickly became popular in kitchens was Irish soda bread, even before no-knead recipes started making the rounds online. 

Since the first half of the 19th century, when baking soda became commercially available (yeast being an expensive luxury that few could afford), 

 it has been a mainstay of rural Irish houses. The remaining components, flour, salt, and soured milk (now buttermilk), could always be found in the pantry

 . The crusty loaves could be baked directly over an open turf fire in a bastible, a freestanding pot with a heavy top; an oven was not necessary. This tasty bread is quick

filling, and inexpensive. It's perfect not only for St. Patrick's Day but for any time you need warm, freshly prepared bread quickly.

This soda bread recipe is surprisingly easy, but even a small amount of over-kneading can result in an extremely dry and tough loaf

 

 I've added butter—a somewhat contentious addition—to the basic four-ingredient recipe. 

 

 Cutting cool butter into the flour not only adds tons of flavor to the loaf, but the fat also helps prevent the creation of gluten, making the bread less likely to be dry and tough

 

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