Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Happy St Patrick's Day: Irish Soda Bread

Okay, this one is going to be quick. St Patrick's Day is upon us and I'm gonna keep it simple and fairly understated. Last year I made Guinness and Bailey's Cupcakes, very sweet and a bit over the top. This year staple food - bread. Soda Bread is technically more of a cake than a bread as it does not contain yeast but baking soda, but I figure if half the world can pretend it's Irish every March 17th then this cake can pretend it's bread.

The first time I had Soda Bread was many years ago in Cork, where my then flatmate was from. His mom, a lovely woman who filled me with so much tea I am pretty certain she had shares in a tea company, had made a loaf of what looked like stone and I really only tasted it to be polite. To my surprise I loved it!

Soda Bread is lovely with smoked salmon and dill but I could honestly eat an entire loaf with just butter. It takes no more than 10 minutes to mix up and then in the oven it goes.

Irish Soda Bread
200 g plain flour
200 g whole-meal flour
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 tablespoons old fashioned rolled oats
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
360 ml buttermilk

Preheat your oven to 190 degrees °C and lightly oiled (or lined with parchment paper) baking tray.

Combine flours, sugar, oats, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add 300ml of the buttermilk. Mix with a spoon until the dough comes together, the dough should be moist but not sticky, add more milk if the dough is dry.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and kneed the dough until smooth, forming a round shape. Place the rounded dough on a lightly oiled baking sheet and cut a cross in the dough with a sharp knife.

Bake for about 40 - 50 minutes or until nicely browned. A handy trick for checking if (most) bread is done is by tapping the bottom of the bread - it will sound hollow. 

Happy St Patrick's Day!


The Bittersweet City said...

It looks great - really like your photos. I'm a bit lazy and hardly ever measure out (if I do then it's in cups). I salute you for having the patience of a pastry chef and baker extraordinaire!

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