Did you all run out to buy buttermilk for those griddle cakes from Edna Lewis? Do you now have a carton of it slouching about in your fridge, wondering if it will be used up before you have to toss it?
Well, if you're not going to drink a big cold glass of it with your breakfast toast, and frankly that's really more of a hot summer morning thing, here's what you should do with it: make bread. Yes, really. Okay, not really really, but sort of really.
Instead of spending the next 18 hours waiting for your (admittedly delicious) no-knead dough to proof, just mix that buttermilk with some whole-wheat flour, regular flour, salt, baking soda, and an egg, and - hey presto! - an hour later you'll have a loaf of warm bread. There's no proofing, no rising. Just a simple batter that rises quickly in the oven.
Those savvy bakers among you might recognize that the texture and flavor of the bread will be akin to biscuits, albeit more wholesome, nourishing ones, I suppose. So that's what I meant by not really really. This isn't yeast bread, it's soda bread, but it'll do quite nicely if you're in one of those moods where you need something warm and craggy to put a waxy slab of butter on and nothing but fresh bread will do.
As delicious as it is straight from the oven, you'd better have a few people to help you with the loaf, because it doesn't last for more than a day or two. But while it's fresh and hot, eat the bread with wedges of sharp Cheddar or spread it with good unsalted butter (or good unsalted butter and cherry jam).
And in other news, you can now find this site at www.thewednesdaychef.com, so if you feel like updating your bookmarks or links, go for it. The old Typepad address will still continue to work, however, so don't worry about broken links or anything like that. I have to thank the kind and patient Laura at Typepad for helping me with this. Thanks, Laura!
Irish Brown Bread
Makes 1 loaf
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Butter an 8-by-5-inch metal loaf pan.
2. In a large bowl, whisk both flours with the baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the egg; stir into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon until a rough dough forms.
3. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth. Form the dough into a loaf and put it in the prepared pan. Bake for about 50 minutes, until the bread has risen about 1/2 inch above the rim of the pan. Once unmolded, the loaf should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Let cool to warm or room temperature, then slice and serve.