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This is your basic soda bread, with no frills. It is exceptional fresh from the oven and makes excellent toast for days after, slathered with butter and strawberry jam. I eat it for every meal until it's gone. You can bake this on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet if you don't have a cast iron skillet, but the crust won't be as crunchy. I nabbed this from Christopher Kimball's blog.
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees and adjust a rack to the center position.
- Place the flours, soda, cream of tartar, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub it into the flour using your fingers until it is completely incorporated and the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk. Work the liquid into the flour mixture using a fork until the dough comes together in large clumps. Turn the dough onto a work surface and knead briefly until the loose flour is just moistened. The dough will still be scrappy and uneven.
- Form the dough into a round about 6 to 7 inches in diameter and place in a cast iron skillet. Score a deep cross on top of the loaf and place in the heated oven. Bake until nicely browned and a tester comes out clean when inserted into the center of the loaf, about 40 to 45 minutes.
- Remove from oven and brush with a tablespoon of melted butter if desired. Cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.