While the idea of using bicarbonate of soda to leaven bread is credited to Native American Indians, soda bread is synonymous with Ireland after becoming popular in the 19th century. Ovens were only found in rich households at the time, and so baking soda allowed poorer cooks to bake fluffy loaves using a griddle or pot hung above a fire.
- 55 g (¼ cup) brown sugar
- 5 eggs, separated
- 110 g (½ cup) caster sugar
- 300 ml (¾ cup) thickened cream
- 250 ml (1 cup) buttermilk
- 40 g (½ cup) dried apple rings
- 250 g strawberries, hulled, halved
- 225 g (1½ cups) plain flour, plus extra, to dust
- 240 g (1½ cups) wholemeal flour
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tsp cream of tartar
- 80 g cold unsalted butter, chopped
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 375 ml (1½ cups) buttermilk
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Cooling time 1 hour 10 minutes
Standing time 15 minutes
Churning time 30 minutes
Chilling time 45 minutes
Freezing time overnight
This version is baked in an oven. You will need a 1.5 L terrine mould for this recipe.
Preheat oven to 190°C. To make soda bread, sift flours, bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar and 1 tsp salt into a large bowl. Add butter and sugar, then using your fingers, rub butter into flour mixture until mixture resembles crumbs. Make a well in the centre, add buttermilk and stir until a soft dough forms (do not overwork dough or bread will be heavy and tough).
Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface, shape into a 15 cm round, then place on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Using a sharp knife, cut a deep cross on top. Lightly dust with extra flour. Set aside for 15 minutes to rise slightly, then bake for 40 minutes or until golden and bread sounds hollow when tapped on its base. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Cut 2 x 1 cm-thick slices from the centre of the loaf, reserving remaining loaf for another purpose. Add slices to a food processor with brown sugar and process to coarse crumbs. Scatter mixture over an oven tray lined with baking paper and bake for 12 minutes or until caramelised and crisp. Set aside to cool.
Grease and line a 1.5 L terrine with plastic wrap, leaving plenty overhanging the sides. Place egg yolks and caster sugar in a non-reactive bowl and sit snugly over a saucepan of simmering water (ensure bowl doesn’t overhang the pan too much or heat will disperse unevenly). Whisk vigorously for 5 minutes or until thick and glossy, and doubled in size.
In a separate bowl, whisk cream to soft peaks, then fold in buttermilk. Fold cream mixture into egg yolk mixture. Whisk egg whites to stiff peaks in a clean bowl and fold into cream mixture. Gently fold in three-quarters of the caramelised breadcrumbs.
Cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and chill for 45 minutes. Churn in an ice-cream maker until frozen. Pour into the terrine mould and freeze overnight.
Cut ice-cream into thick slices. Scatter with remaining caramelised breadcrumbs, apple rings and strawberries, to serve.
Photography Chris Chen
As seen in Feast magazine, March 2014, Issue 29. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.