Real Irish Soda Bread

Scone, schmone. Soda bread started out as crusty Irish hearth bread. [Photographs and video: Vicky Wasik]

Once upon a time, soda bread was baked over hot coals in a covered skillet, trapping steam from the dough to produce a wonderfully crusty loaf of bread—a setup anyone can re-create in a Dutch oven. Teamed up with low-protein all-purpose flour and volatile baking soda, buttermilk hits the sweet spot of gluten and carbon dioxide formation, creating a moist and fluffy loaf of soda bread that's chewy and crusty all at once.

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