Irish Brown Soda Bread

I remember trying soda bread for the first time; it was down in Clane Co. Kildare, probably my first week in Ireland, staying at my boyfriend cousin's place. I really couldn't swallow that dry and fishy piece of bread, but I had no other choice, there was nothing else. A week after, I was buying my own loaf, and wouldn't eat anything else with my cup of soup for lunch. 

This bread is really different to any other breads. It is moist with crumbly texture, and crusty at the same time. It has that distinct, fish like taste, that most people will hate at first, but it's actually a surprisingly good flavor. There are many different recipes for soda bread, so you can try and find your favorite one. Mine is an amalgamation of a traditional Irish cook book and Avoca's recipes. 

Ingredients for 1 loaf:
  • 200g/7oz white flour
  • 300g/10oz coarse brown flour
  • 3 tbsp bran (optional)
  • 2 tbsp wheatgerm (optional)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp golden syrup or molasses
  • 500/600ml buttermilk

Mix all dry ingredients together in a bow. Add the syrup and buttermilk and stir it together. Add more buttermilk if the mixture feels too tough, the dough has to be moist but not sloppy.

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F for about 20minutes. Grease a loaf tin very generously and pour the batter into the tin. Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until risen. Then turn the heat down to 170C/325F and bake for about an hour.

After an hour, take the loaf out of the oven and out of the pan, and tapp on the bottom of the loaf. If it sounds hollow, then the bread is ready. If not, return to the oven, no need putting it back into the pan, and bake for another 10-15 minutes.



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