Quick and simple to make Irish soda bread uses bicarbonate of soda and buttermilk as raising agents instead of yeast. Dense, moist and firm it is beautiful simply spread with butter. With this recipe you could add some seeds to the top before baking if you like.
- 200 g plain flour, sifted
- 600 g (3¾ cups) stone-milled wholemeal flour (see Note)
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 600 ml buttermilk
- 2 tbsp rolled oats
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.
Standing time 30 minutes
You will need two 22 cm x 11 cm loaf pans for this recipe.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Place flours, bicarbonate of soda and ½ teaspoon of salt in a bowl. Make a well in the centre, pour in 400 ml buttermilk and stir until combined. Add enough of the remaining 200 ml buttermilk until mixture resembles thick porridge.
Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 2 minutes to bring dough together. Form into 2 x 20 cm logs and place in two greased 22 cm x 11 cm loaf pans. Using a small knife, make a 3 cm-deep cut down the centre of each loaf and scatter with oats.
Bake for 35 minutes or until light golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Stand for 30 minutes before serving.
• Wholemeal flour is available stone-milled (also called stone-ground) or plain. Stone-milled will give a better, denser result with this soda bread. It is available from selected supermarkets and health food shops.
As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 10, pg48
Photography by Alan Benson.