Classic Irish Soda Bread

This is a quick bread that is amazingly easy to make. It works great with soups and stews as well as toast with a good jam. Ingredients: 3 cups all-purpose flour; plus more for work surface 1 cup cake flour 2 tablespoons sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened; plus 1 tablespoon melted for brushing the crust 1 1/2 cups buttermilk Directions: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and preheat to 400 degrees. Whisk flours, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt together in a large bowl. Work softened butter into dry ingredients with fork or fingertips until texture resembles coarse crumbs. Add buttermilk and stir with fingertips until the dough just comes together. Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead the dough until it becomes cohesive and bumpy, it won’t take long. Do not let the dough become smooth, the bread will be tough. Pat dough into a round about 6 inches in diameter and 2 inches high; place on greased baking sheet. Score the dough with by cutting a cross on top of the round. Bake until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with the melted butter, cool to room temperature about 30 minutes. Michele Tracey, Food Editor

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