Adventures into Irish Soda Bread Part 1 – White Soda Bread

White Bread

Who knew soda bread was so great? Until now, not me. I must admit that I have been so into yeast breads recently that I neglected the old Irish favourite soda bread. Maybe that’s the hidden ‘snob’ inside me coming out, favouring fancy long to make yeast breads over their lesser known poor Irish cousin named Soda. However I recently decided to have a go at soda bread and was very pleasantly surprised.

White Soda Bread

I have heard folks rant on about how this is a no knead, no rise bread and you very simply just mix the ingredients together, shape it into a ball and pop it into the oven. Thirty minutes later you are presented with a loaf of bread. Ya sure it’s quick to make but in my experience, more than not quick means worse. Well not this time. Soda bread is one of the quickest breads to make but produces a gorgeous, rustic loaf of fresh bread. It’s ‘fast food’ as it should be.

Shaping white soda bread dough

With its light cream coloured interior, soda bread is soft, crumbly and has a spongy texture (in a good way). When you consider the lengthy processes of kneading, rising, knocking back and proving involved in yeast bread, it is astonishing that you can get such a nice loaf of bread in less than 45 minutes. Master this bread and you’ll never look back.

 

Ingredients

500g plain white flour
1 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (bread soda)
400ml buttermilk

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degree Celsius.
  2. Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the salt.
  3. Add in the buttermilk and mix the ingredient together to a softish dough. Don’t over mix the dough at this stage, just enough to bring it together.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Fold it over onto itself a few times and shape into a ball.
  5. Place the dough onto a baking tray. Flour the top of the dough and cut a deep cross in it.
  6. Bake for around 30 minutes or until it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

 

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