I suppose I blame it on a nerdy childhood spent sitting on the sidelines (literally) reading stories about drafty castles, wild, windy moors, and resourceful street urchins. Truly a far cry from my shiny, temperature-controlled suburban upbringing, which is perhaps why I was so fascinated.
"Tooth butter," which my friend Kristine recently explained to me is a Danish term for the correct way to spread butter--thick enough to leave teeth marks in it. (Don't you just love that?!)
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Brown Bran Irish Soda Bread
Makes 1 loaf
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat bran (Available at Whole Foods or online at nuts.com)
2 tablespoons molasses
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
In the base of an electric mixer, combine the flours, bran, molasses, baking soda, and salt and mix until combined. Mix in the diced butter.
In a separate container, whisk together the buttermilk and egg. While the mixer is on slow, pour in the buttermilk mixture and let mix on the lowest setting until completely combined and the dough starts to pull away from the sides. (The dough will be very sticky.)
Dust flour on a counter and turn out the dough. Knead for a few minutes and form into a loaf. Place on the prepared baking sheet and use a wet chef's knife to slash with a cross on top.
Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly before transferring to a cooling rack.