Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by baking some of your very own homemade soda bread! With just 5 ingredients and no kneading or rising required, this is sure to become one bread recipe you’ll make time and time again.
St. Patrick’s Day is fast approaching and there’s definitely no better time to start baking and cooking up delicious Irish food. Many beloved dishes of mine have Irish origins and Ireland is home to one of my favourite quick breads, soda bread.
Soda bread unlike most bread recipes takes just a matter of minutes to prepare because it doesn’t have to be kneaded so you will have it all ready to go and be baked in less than 10 minutes – something that isn’t usually the case when you’re baking bread! It isn’t just kneading that you can forget about with this recipe, it also doesn’t require any time rising as there is no yeast added.
Whilst I do really enjoy making bread, sometimes I want homemade bread, but without too much effort involved and having to wait hours for it to rise and then having to wait even longer for it to bake.
Soda bread is spectacular for something so quick and simple to prepare!
There are tonnes of soda bread recipes out there. Each and every one is different, some add dried fruit such as cranberries, currants, sultanas, raisins or spices such as caraway seeds. Others switch the white flour for wholemeal or use a mix of the two.
I always get a feeling of real satisfaction when I’ve baked anything right from scratch. It’s nice to know exactly what ingredients have gone into what you’re eating and it’s always a great feeling when something you’ve made tastes incredible. Soda bread is meant to look homemade, it will have knobbly bits all over but for me the more rustic something looks the better!
This bread can be eaten by itself just liberally spread with butter or even dunked into a warming bowl of stew or soup. We ate this soda bread with a bowl of my mum’s Irish beef and Guinness stew which is our idea of proper Irish comfort food.
450g (3 and 1/2 cups) plain/all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting and shaping
1 teaspoon caster or granulated sugar
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 teaspoon salt
350-425ml (1 and 1/2 to 2 cups) buttermilk
1. Preheat the oven to 230°C / 210 degrees Fan / 450°F / Gas Mark 8. Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the buttermilk.
2. Mix through the buttermilk and combine until you have a soft and very slightly sticky dough – try not to over mix as this will make the bread tough. Remember this dough recipe is very similar to biscuit/scone dough, you want to handle the dough as little as possible.
3. Once mixed line a large baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Pat the dough out onto the tray into a round approx. 1.5 inches/4cm thick. Cut a deep cross into the centre using a sharp knife. Bake for 15 minutes then turn the oven temperature down to 200°C / 180 Fan / 400°F / Gas mark 6. Bake the soda bread for another 30 minutes.
4. Check the bread is completely baked by tapping the base of the bread. If sounds hollow then the bread is baked fully, the bread should also have taken on a golden colour on the outside.
5. Cool the bread on a wire rack completely before serving. Then slice up and serve with butter. Bread will store at room temperature in a bread bag or airtight container for up to 2-3 days.
Recipe from “Rachel’s Irish Family Food”
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