Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Tonight we're gonna eat some soda bread, somewhere in this town...

I don't think the members of Thin Lizzy really ever ingested much that didn't come in powdered form, but they're a great Irish institution - as is this bread.

Home-made bread is a thing of beauty, but it can be a bit time-consuming.  Soda bread, on the other hand, is very quick and easy to make, as there's no kneading involved (note the use of bicarbonate of soda rather than the usual yeast).  It has a different texture to normal bread too - it's a bit more chewy.

This version uses a mixture of white and wholemeal flour but you can use all white if you want.

  • 175g strong wholemeal bread flour
  • 175g strong white bread flour (plus extra for sprinkling)
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 284ml buttermilk
  • Vegetable oil for lining the baking tray
1.  Stick the oven on at 200 degrees.  Line a baking tray with vegetable oil and baking parchment.  Sieve the flour into a bowl and mix in the other dry ingredients.

2.  Create a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk.

3.  Mix the buttermilk in with a fork so that it forms a dough.  Add a little splash of normal milk if the dough isn't sticking enough.

4.  Using your hands, create a ball of dough and splat it down on the baking tray.  Make a cross in the top using a sharp knife - this looks good and allows the bread to expand as it cooks.

5.  Stick it in the oven for half an hour.  You can tell it's done if it sounds hollow when you tap the crust on the underside.  Sprinkle some flour over it and let it rest for about 10 minutes, then serve it, still warm, with butter and cheese.

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