Southern Soda Bread
Serves: 6 to 8
Hands On Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/8 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/4 cups buttermilk
Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Line the bottom of a large Dutch oven with parchment paper; it is fine if the paper comes up the sides of the pot.
In a large bowl, thoroughly whisk together the flour, cornmeal, salt and baking soda. Stir in the buttermilk until the dough is moistened and no dry flour remains. The dough will be very sticky.
Pour the dough into the Dutch oven and use a spatula to mold it into the shape of a round loaf. Use a sharp knife to deeply score the loaf into quarters.
Cover the pot and bake until the bread is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to bake until it is deep brown and the center registers 210 degrees, about 10 minutes. Turn the bread out onto a wire rack, remove the parchment paper, and then flip so that the bread is right side-up. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. The bread is best eaten on the same day it is baked, but you can keep it for up to 2 days in an airtight container; toast leftovers before serving.
About the recipe
To give our soda bread a slight Southern accent, we’ve taken a cue from its cousin and added a scoop of yellow cornmeal to the mix. This addition makes for a slightly more dense bread, with a subtle sweetness and hint of nuttiness. We’ve also followed the direction of the brilliant Stella Parks over at Serious Eats, who makes her soda bread with over a pint of buttermilk — her ultra wet and sticky dough bakes up far more bread-like than the far more common muffin-ish soda breads. You’ll be able to slice it for a sandwich or dunk it into a stew without crumbling. Yes, just like yeast bread.
We used yellow cornmeal and Diamond Crystal brand kosher salt in this recipe.