By: Katy Boys
Meal Type: Accompaniment
Cook time: 40 Minutes
Servings: 1 Loaf
Often attributed to (but not exclusively invented in) Ireland, Soda Bread is quick to make, adaptable, and stores well for a couple of days in an airtight container.
This loaf has a rich heritage, one that spans centuries and continents. Native Americans used to use potash in bread, a natural soda, to make them rise. When 'soft flour' was all that would thrive and grow in Ireland, Soda Bread was the obvious solution to make use of it. Most recipes still call for the use of this flour type to this day. Originally it was combined with mashed spuds and 'Soda Ash' instead of yeast.
The basic recipe is widely experimented with, and a mix of wholemeal and spelt flours with the 'softer' flour seems to give a nutty taste and a satisfying texture. Also good for the gut and heart too!
Wet ingredients like Guinness are added, and crunchy demerara sugar sprinkledon the outside are delicious variations too!
- 500g of Soft Flour or Plain Cake Flour
- 2 Tsp of Bicarbonate of soda (you can use Baking Powder, but the bicarb gives the bread it's unique flavour)
- 1 Tsp Sea Salt
- Buttermilk, approx 400ml OR..
- Buttermilk substitute (use a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice to each 200ml)
What you might want to change..
- Swap half the flour for wholemeal or Spelt
- Reduce the Sea Salt to a pinch, add some dried fruit, and sprinkle sugar over the crust
- Add Ale or stout, reduce the buttermilk by the amount that you add
- Add cheeses and savoury nuts
1. This bread is super easy! Prep your tray, you'll need it ready..
2. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
3. Add your wet ingredients, and combine with your hands as quickly as you can
4. Shape onto your lined tray, act quick as the bicarb will be doing it's work already
5. Score the top, traditionally in a cross with a sharp knife, or diagonally in a 'star' for easy portioning. You can make individual ones too - ideal for picnics & ploughman's lunches with a glass of stout!
6. Pop in the roasting oven for Approx 30-35 mins, but check after 20/25, every cooker if different! Around 40 mins at 190℃ is a guide. Do you have an oven thermometer?