The End of the World and Soda Bread

If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, just place 1 cup of milk in a bowl, add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to the milk and let it stand for 10 minutes without doing anything. I know, you’ll feel like stirring the milk or something, but just be patient. Those ten minutes are so worth the wait. Trust me. Also, please note that this recipe makes two loaves of soda bread. You can halve the recipe, if desired.

4 cups of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of baking soda
½ teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
2 cups of buttermilk

Preheat your oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl.

Slowly pour in the buttermilk. You may not need all 2 cups of the buttermilk (you may have a couple tablespoons left, so just discard any extra). After the buttermilk is poured in, mix with your hands until a dough is formed. DO NOT let the dough rest!

Evenly divide the dough into two (if you halved the recipe, don’t divide it at all).

On a floured surface, knead the dough ball for a minute or two until it is somewhat smooth. Form it into a ball making sure that the seam is on the bottom. Repeat this step with the other dough ball.

Place both dough balls on parchment-lined baking sheet.

Cut a deep cross (not all the way through the dough, just about ¼ way through the dough) on the top of both dough balls using a sharp knife.

Bake for about 34 minutes, until the top is well browned, the center of the cross doesn’t give, and when you turn the dough upside down and “knock” on it, it should sound hollow.

Cool for a couple minutes before slicing the bread.

Spread with room temperature butter and jam, and enjoy!