Traditional Irish soda bread has four ingredients: flour, salt, baking soda and buttermilk. But Americans decided that wasn't enough, so modern versions often contain extras like eggs, caraway seeds and butter.
Our recipe straddles the line between traditional and newfangled: Dark brown sugar sweetens the loaf just slightly, while bits of chopped rosemary add a lingering savory note to offset plump golden raisins. Flour in Ireland is traditionally lower in protein than American flour, so we use cake flour to mimic it and keep the texture light, plus whole wheat flour and wheat germ to maintain brown bread's deep color and token nuttiness.
Make sure you score a cross into the top of the loaf: Irish folklore says this is to let the fairies out, but cooking science has this down as a method to allow heat to escape and the bread to expand.
To learn more, read "Shamrock and Roll."
Irish Brown Soda BreadRecipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes