White Soda Bread

Years ago I thought I would try soda bread.  Can’t remember the recipe but it is just as well as that attempt produced something closer to concrete than delicious bread.  You could do some serious damage with that thing!  A few years ago my mum and dad gave me a cookbook called “Irish Traditional Cooking” by Darina Allen.  It’s a lovely cookbook with tidbits on the history of recipes and ingredients.  I had some buttermilk left over so I thought it was as good as time as any to try my hand at this again.  Really glad I did.  So much better than the previous attempt.  🙂

Preheat the oven to 450F/232C.  In a mixing bowl add 4 cups flour, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp baking soda.  Mix that well.

White soda bread 1 2013

The recipe calls for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups of buttermilk.  Basically start with the lower amount and add if you need to as it depends on the flour if it needs more moisture.  You don’t want it overly wet or sticky as a dough.

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Mix it all together.  You can tell if it needs more buttermilk as mine did.  It looked very clumpy.

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After adding another 1/4 cup of buttermilk the dough came together.  It needs to be kneaded a few times to, as Darina said in the book, “tidy it up”.

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When preheating the oven I put in our large pizza stone that we also use to bake bread.  So for the next step I laid the dough out on parchment paper for ease of transfer.  Work the dough into a round disc.  About 2″ thick or so.  Then, and I love this part, “cut a cross on it to let the fairies out!”  🙂

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Bake for 15 minutes at 450F/232C and then lower the temp to 400F/204C for 20-30 minutes until it sounds hollow on the bottom.

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It says to cool but I love hot bread with butter melting into it.

White soda bread 8 2013

This is a great quick bread and it will be wonderful with homemade soup.

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