Monday, April 25, 2011

Super Simple Soda bread

Soda bread, about as Irish as it gets. No messing around with yeast or waiting to rise etc.
This is a very simple, easy to follow recipe.
With blackberry jam or curd and a mug of tea, it is the flavour of Connemara.
450g (1lb) plain white flour, or wholemeal if you want a brown loaf.
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baxitartar
1 teaspoon bread soda or bicarbonate of soda (2 if you dont have baxitartar)
400ml (14fl oz) buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 230ºc / Gas Mark 9.

Sift all the dry ingredients into a large, wide bowl, and make a well in the centre.
Pour in the milk and mix using the fingers of one hand, stiff and oustretched like a claw, stir from the centre to the edge of the bowl in circles.
If you dont like using your hands, try a wooden spoon
The dough should be softish, but not too wet and sticky.
When it all comes together, turn out on to a well-floured work surface.

Wash and dry your hands. Pat the dough into a tidy shape and flip over gently, then pat it into a round about 4cm (1 and 1/2 inches) thick.
Gently transfer to a lightly greased and lightly floured baking tray or tin.
You can cut a deep cross into the loaf and prick the centre of each quarter to let the fairies out, or do a deeply pierced cross pattern with a fork as I do, because thats how I saw it done.
The reason that you make a cross in the top of the loaf before you bake it is to allow the heat to get through to the centre of the bread and cook the middle.

Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 200ºc/Gas Mark 6 and bake for a further 30 minutes or until cooked. If you are in doubt tap the bottom of the bread: it should sound hollow.
Rub the surface with a knob of butter or a few tablespoons of buttermilk while warm - this softens the crust.
Cool on a wire rack.

Soda bread is best eaten on the day it is made.

For a very nice traditional fruity version add to the above recipe:
Reduce the buttermilk to 350ml (12fl oz)
1 tablespoon sugar
100g (4oz) sultanas or raisins
A couple of tablespoons of either molasis, treacle, maple syrup, honey or golden syrup
1 egg

As always, thanks for visiting, and please feel free to leave a comment


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  1. Sometimes it's the simple things that are best. I remember my Granny cooking this bread in a bastible on a bed of hot coals.

  2. Thanks for posting this - I've made it twice in the last week, as it is so little hassle.

    I made one change - I added a teaspoon of sugar (as most other soda bread recipes seem to have it).

  3. Nice blog post i liked your discussion and i wish my wife see this blog and understand the worth of this blog anyways thanks..


Thanks for commenting - its cool that you took the time