Recipe – SIMPLE IRISH SODA BREAD

Irish Soda Bread is a fuss-free quick bread made with 4 basic simple ingredients – flour, baking soda, buttermilk and salt. A bread that is traditionally made on St. Patrik’s day however, you can make it all year round. It’s rustic, tender, soft, crumbly and dense bread with a hard crust.

Soda bread is leavened with baking soda. Additionally, the use of buttermilk enhances the rising process of the bread. It should be eaten fresh since it dries out faster.

We make Irish Soda Bread on  regular basis. Whenever, I make the brown soda bread from whole wheat flour, it is very heavier and drier compared to white soda bread; also takes a little longer time to bake. Sometimes, I like to add a half cup of raisins to the soda bread and enjoy it with our breakfast.

Here, in this recipe, the buttermilk is slowly added to the flour, baking soda, salt mixture and handled gently; just bringing everything together, the dough should be moist and not wet. Flatten and shape it into a rough round ball. If you overwork, it will become tough and the light and crumbly texture of the bread will be lost. It is important to score a deep cross into the top of the bread dough to allow the heat to penetrate inside and cook through. Bake it in a hot oven for 1 hour undisturbed and should sound hollow underneath when tapped with your knuckles. Wrap it with aluminium foil tightly when cooled completely. It tastes best on the day it is made or toasted the next day. Irish Soda Bread is delicious with rustic mutton curries, stews or soups.

Happy St. Patrick’s day!!!

Crusty, soft, rustic, simple and quick Irish Soda Bread dunked in soups or stews enjoyed during dinner.

total time : 1 hr-10 mins, yields : 1 loaf, cuisine : ireland, author : gloria

Ingredients

450 gms/2 cups soft wheat flour or unbleached plain flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp sea salt

1 1/4 cup buttermilk

Method

Pre-heat oven 190° C/375° F.

Into a large bowl, place soft wheat flour/unbleached plain flour, baking soda and sea salt; combine to mix.

Make a well in the centre and slowly pour in the buttermilk; give a quick stir until the flour is evenly moistened.

Tip the dough on a lightly floured surface area and gently knead it for 30 seconds shaping it into a rough round ball. Handle as little as possible and do not overwork.

Flatten the dough and place it in a greased pan. Using a sharp knife, score a 1/2″ deep cross into the top and prick the four corners of the dough.

Bake in a pre-heated oven for 1 hour or until golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.

Brush the top with butter and allow it to cool down for few minutes.

Slice the bread and serve warm with stew/soups or slather with some traditional Irish kerrygold butter. Also, tastes good the next day when toasted.

My observations/notes:

– oven temperature and baking time varies; keep an eye after 50 mins and use your judgement.

– it is advisable to sieve flour (whichever using) and baking soda while preparing this bread.

– If buttermilk is unavailable, make clabber milk by adding 1 tbsp of white vinegar or lemon juice to 1 1/2 cup of milk. Sir; keep aside for 10 minutes and proceed further.

– I used home-made buttermilk for this recipe.

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