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Join Martha as she shares her secrets for how to make three of her all-time favorite breads. First, an Irish soda bread that she serves every St. Patrick’s Day, always a huge hit. Next, an olive and cheese loaf — a no-knead bread that’s baked in an enameled cast iron pot. Next comes a simple and delicious bread called Sally Lunn. And finally, a memorable custard-filled cornbread.
Watch This Week’s Baking Tip
Martha cuts four tablespoons of butter into quarter inch cubes by stacking four slices and cutting crosswise. They are then stored in the refrigerator and ready to be formed when needed.
This Week’s Recipe
Irish Soda Bread
By adding egg, sugar, caraway seeds, and butter to a traditional Irish soda bread recipe, you create a loaf that is fit for a Sunday breakfast or brunch. Wrapped well with plastic wrap, it can be stored at room temperature until the last crumb is eaten. Like all Irish soda breads, this freezes well.
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons caraway seeds
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
- 2 cups golden or dark raisins
- 1 1/2 scant cups buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and caraway seeds until well combined.
- Using a pastry cutter or two knives in scissor fashion, cut in butter until the mixture feels like coarse meal. Stir in raisins until evenly distributed.
- In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, and baking soda until well combined. Pour buttermilk mixture into the flour-and-butter mixture all at once, and stir with a fork until all the liquid is absorbed and the mixture begins to hold together. It should resemble a rough biscuit dough. Using your hands, press the dough into a round, dome-shaped loaf about 8 inches in diameter. Lift the loaf from the bowl, and transfer it to the prepared baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, mix the egg yolk and cream together. With a pastry brush, brush the egg wash over the loaf. With a sharp knife or razor, incise a cross, about 1/2 inch deep, into the top of the loaf. Transfer to the oven. Bake, rotating halfway through, until it is deep golden brown and a wooden skewer comes out clean when inserted into the center, about 70 minutes. Remove from oven, and transfer bread from the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool.
Yield: 1 loaf
Additional recipes and video clips from the episode are available on MarthaStewart.com including: