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Delicious and easy soda bread recipe that is the perfect accompaniment for a stew. With a crispy crust and a soft centre, this is delicious eaten with butter.
Bake for St Patrick’s day celebrations or for a hearty winter stew.
The thought of baking your own bread can become quite overwhelming. It is after all quite a long process! This is where a soda bread recipe is the perfect solution.
Soda bread is simple and QUICK to make.
It is a basic loaf of bread, that has minimal ingredients and can be made and baked in under an hour. How does that sound?
A freshly baked loaf of bread from ingredients to the table in under an hour.
It will definitely become your new ‘go to’ recipe.
This easy to make soda bread recipe is the perfect accompaniment to a hearty winter stew. As we are coming up to St Patrick’s day, it would make a wonderful addition to the delicious Irish lamb stew.
If you are having any kind of Irish dinner party, the soda bread will make a fantastic accompaniment.
Soda bread is a very popular staple in Irish food culture. Traditional soda bread contains just a few ingredients.
- Baking soda
Use Buttermilk Not Ordinary Milk
It is very important that buttermilk and NOT ordinary milk is used when making the soda bread recipe.
The acid in the buttermilk reacts perfectly with the baking soda which makes it rise. It also has an added bonus that it gives the best flavor.
Should You Knead Soda Bread?
In the recipe you will notice that I mention to give a “gentle knead”. This is because whilst you want to get the mixture together, you really don’t want to over mix or knead it.
A gentle knead of about 30 seconds is really all you want.
If you over knead the bread it will make it thick and tough. Instead simply give it a 30 second light knead, then shape it into a round loaf and place on the baking tray.
Don’t Forget The Cross
Before the soda bread goes in the oven, it must have a cross drawn into the top of it.
The folklore says that the cross on the top is to ‘let out the fairies’ so that the bread wont be jinxed by evil spirits. In reality however, the cross is simply to ensure that the heat penetrates the centre of the bread sufficiently allowing it to cook.
Easy Irish Soda Bread Recipe
- 450g plain white flour, preferably unbleached
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 400ml buttermilk (or milk with a squeeze of lemon juice)
Preheat the oven to 230c or gas mark 9.
Sift all the dry ingredients into a large wide bowl, make a well in the centre and pour in half the milk.
With the lightest touch possible, mix the dry mixture with the milk. Continue to add the remainder of the milk but do not allow the dough to become too sticky.
Give a ‘gentle’ knead, but not too much otherwise you will make the dough heavy.
After a light kneading pat the dough into a tidy ball and pat it into a round about 4cm thick.
Gently transfer to a baking tray. Cut a deep cross into the loaf and prick the centre of each quarter to ‘let the fairies out’.
Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 200ºC or Gas Mark 6 and bake for a further 30 minutes or until cooked. If you are in doubt tap the bottom of the bread and it should sound hollow.
Cool on a wire rack.
Irish soda bread is best eaten fresh on the day that it has been made. But to be honest, it’s not going to last much longer than that anyway.
Even if you don’t have a stew to eat it with, it is also simply delicious with some jam or a dob of butter. As soon as it comes out the oven, you are going to want to eat it.
Have you ever tried Irish soda bread? What did you think?
Do you think it could replace your traditional bread?
Need some more recipe ideas? Check out our entire range of party food ideas that are perfect for the kids and adults too. There are plenty of homemade birthday cakes, cupcakes, cookies, chocolate popcorn and other delicious recipes that guests will all love.
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