Food: Let’s Make Irish Soda Bread
This isn’t the prettiest loaf of bread you’ll ever bake. But it sure is the easiest. And maybe the tastiest too. Irish soda bread is best eaten the day it’s baked but it does make excellent toast the second day. Fresh or toasted, you must serve with lashings of butter.
Irish Soda Bread
400g wholemeal flour (I like to use spelt)
400g white flour
1.5 tsp bicarbonate soda
2 tsp salt
600 ml buttermilk *
Preheat oven to 220C
Sift flour, salt and bicarb soda into a large mixing bowl and use a whisk to combine. Make a well in the centre and slowly add the buttermilk. Stir with a fork to make a soft dough.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and quickly shape into a round loaf. Try not to handle the dough too much or you’ll have tough bread.
Using a sharp bread knife, cut a cross in the top of the loaf, about 1 to 2cm deep. This helps the loaf cook evenly.
Place on a lightly floured baking tray and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack.
* If you don’t have any buttermilk, just use fresh milk and add a splash of vinegar. Stir and let it sit for a few minutes to curdle. I sometimes mix in a dollop of plain yogurt too.