Brown Butter and Rosemary Soda Bread

This bread is a great way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year.  I have flipped through the soda bread slide show over at Epicurious.com for the past few weeks and finally settled on this.  It did not disappoint.  It is the perfect accompaniment to a sharp Irish Cheddar before dinner or to soak up your favorite Irish Stew.  The brown butter, rosemary and black pepper give it a lot of character. Soda bread is basically a big scone so don’t be intimidated.   I will be in Nashville on Sunday celebrating with some Guinness and no doubt bourbon! Sláinte!

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Brown Butter and Rosemary Soda Bread
adapted slightly from Bon Appetit

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper plus more for topping
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (room temperature) may use a little more if you dough looks dry
1 egg white, beaten to blend

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Stir butter in heavy small saucepan over medium heat until melted and golden brown, and it stops sizzling about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Stir flour, oats, sugar, rosemary, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in large bowl to blend. Pour buttermilk and melted browned butter over flour mixture; stir with fork until flour mixture is moistened.

Turn dough out onto floured work surface. Knead gently until dough comes together, about 7 turns. Divide in half. Shape each half into ball; flatten each into 6-inch round. Place rounds on parchment lined baking sheet, spacing 5 inches apart. Brush tops with beaten egg white. Sprinkle lightly with ground black pepper. Using small sharp knife, cut 1/2-inch-deep X in top of each dough round.

Bake breads until deep golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool breads on rack at least 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Can be kept in an air tight container for a few days on the counter, enjoy toasted.

 

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