I guess I go backwards sometimes. After a lifetime of never making bread, I dove into the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day with gusto and spent two winters making all of our artisan loaves. I felt like a master baker, using yeast and not running scared out into the woods. Okay, I didn't have to knead it or do any other fancy bakery things to it but it was real bread and it was good.
This week I was taking lunch to a friend's house and made some soup and at the last minute decided to try a new bread. I loved the sound of this brown butter soda bread I found on Epicurious, it got rave reviews and looked easy as pie. I made it exactly as written (one or two tiny changes) and it was so ridiculously easy that I can't believe I have never tried it before.
The texture is more like a giant biscuit or scone than it is like a true bread, but you put some butter on a wedge of this baby while it's still a bit warm?
Shut the front door.
Honestly, now I know why my Irish fore bearers were never know for their svelte, willowy figures with bread like this every day.
We at this crazy yummy bread with a parsnip corn chowder and The Kid declared it perfect soup dunking bread, so there you have it.
Brown Butter Soda Bread
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary plus more for topping
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper plus additional for topping
- 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
- 1 egg white, beaten to blend
Make sure your rack is in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 375F
Melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat and swirl it around until it turns golden brown (about 2-3 minutes) and remove it from the heat.
Put the flour, oats, sugar, rosemary, baking powder, baking soda, salt and a few grinds of black pepper (I didn't measure) in a large bowl and mix well with a whisk. Pour the buttermilk and the melted butter on top and stir it together until the flour is moistened - don't over stir. The recipe calls for using a fork but I used a silicone spatula and it worked really well.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead very gently until it feels likes it all mixed together - I did exactly 7 turns as instructed. Divide that in half, shape each half into a ball and flatten it. I put them on a parchment lined baking pan with lots of room in between them. Brush the tops with the egg white and sprinkle with a couple more grinds of black pepper and some more chopped rosemary. Using a knife, cut a nice, deep X into the top of each round.
Bake until deep golden brown and a tester comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool on racks for another 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temp.