Irish Cheddar & Bacon Soda Bread
I always make an annual Irish soda bread with caraway seeds and raisins, but this year I decided to mix it up and make Homesick Texan's Cheddar and Bacon version. You can't ever go wrong w/ cheese and bacon.
The recipe calls for using Irish bacon and Irish cheddar cheese, however, I had good old Oscar Meyer and a block of NY State white sharp cheddar, so maybe we can call this the NY Oscar version of Irish soda bread. It doesn't matter the cheese, as long as you don't use that yellow shredded stuff in the bag.
There is no yeast in this bread, so no waiting for the rising, it provides instant gratification.
A hunk of this is like a lead biscuit.
I loved it best warm with a schmear of Kerry Gold Irish butter (salted, please).
Irish Cheddar & Bacon Soda Bread (adapted from Homesick Texan):
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 ounces cooked Irish bacon (Canadian or Oscar Meyer is fine)
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 cup grated Irish cheddar (8 ounces)
4 green onions or scallions, chopped, green part only
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a skillet on medium-low heat, warm up the oil. Add the Irish bacon to the skillet (omit the oil if using regular bacon), and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side. Remove from the skillet and chop the bacon.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, kosher salt, granulated sugar, Irish cheddar, chopped Irish bacon and green onions until well blended. Pour in the buttermilk and mix until the dough comes together. It is easier if you just use your hands to form the dough.
Form the dough into a round loaf and place on the baking sheet.
With a sharp knife, cut a cross into the top. Bake for 40 minutes or until the loaf is lightly browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Have a happy St. Patrick's Day and enjoy!