Why It Works: Making Irish Soda Bread in a Cast Iron Skillet
Some recipes call for the pan by name (like this Soda Bread in a Skillet) while others don't (like Amazingly Easy Irish Soda Bread). Just know it'll work either way, but it's really worth giving the cast-iron skillet a try.
Why Is Cast Iron Better?
Once again, cast iron's ability to get hot and stay hot is the key to its versatility in the oven:
- Crusts are thicker and more browned from the high, direct heat.
- Ultra-even heating. Cast iron's thermal density keeps the overall temperature in the oven more consistent and even.
- If you pre-heat the oven with the pan inside, the crust will be even thicker. Just be careful to protect your hands well when you pick up the pan — that cast iron is hot!
- The sloping sides keep quick bread doughs like soda bread from losing shape.
As a matter of fact, some cooks always keep a cast iron pan in their oven, because it helps keep the temperature more stable, sort of like a pizza stone with sides.