By: Allysa Adamson
Brown Butter Rosemary Irish Soda Bread with Kale Pesto
Making bread can be a daunting task, full of trial and error, maybe even a little frustration. If you can relate to these hesitations, this Irish Soda Bread is a great place to start! Irish Soda Bread is a quick bread that does not require any yeast. Instead, the leavening comes from the buttermilk and baking soda.
This bread has a crisp, golden crust with a soft inside and sweet addition from the dried currants. It is best served as a side to a hearty stew or served simply with butter, jam, and/or cheese. The currants can be substituted for raisins or any other dried fruit if desired.
For a healthy, non-traditional method, serve the Irish Soda with Executive Chef, Ben Davis’s, Kale Pesto. The high levels of Vitamin C and omega fatty acids make kale a health-conscious alternative to other accompaniments. With two simple steps, this pesto is an easy and flavorful addition to many dishes including bread, pasta, and more.
¼ cup unsalted butter
3½ cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
½ cup old-fashioned oats
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¾ teaspoon ground black pepper plus additional for topping
1¾ cups buttermilk
¾ cup currants
1 egg, beaten to blend
1. Position rack in center of the Wolf oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Stir butter in a heavy small saucepan over medium heat until golden brown and starting to smell nutty about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
2. Stir 3½ cups flour, oats, sugar, rosemary, caraway seeds, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ¾ teaspoon pepper in a large bowl to blend. Pour buttermilk and melted browned butter over flour mixture; stir with a fork until flour mixture is moistened. Combine the currants with 1 tablespoon of flour and mix into the dough.
3. Turn dough out onto floured work surface. Knead gently just until the dough comes together, about 7 turns. Shape into a round loaf. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush top with beaten egg. Using a small sharp knife, cut 1/2-inch-deep X on top of the bread.
4. Bake until deep golden brown and tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 to 55 minutes. Cool bread on a rack for at least 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
1 large bunch of Tuscan kale, ribs, and stems removed
⅓ cup raw walnuts
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove
¼ cup lemon juice
1 oz. Parmesan, finely grated
1. Cook kale leaves in a large pot of boiling salted water until bright green and wilted for about 30 seconds. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet with tongs. Let kale cool slightly; wring out excess water with your hands.
2. Blend nuts, oil, garlic, and lemon juice in a blender or food processor until very smooth. Add kale and 1 oz. Parmesan. Purée until smooth. Taste and adjust for salt.
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