Recipe 41 – Irish Soda Bread

3rd March 2012

It was my intention to go to my allotment this morning as it has been very neglected of late and I need to start digging it over ready for planting.  However, I awoke to the sound of rain, so decided instead to do some baking.

Flicking through The Bible, I thought I hadn’t made any bread recently and with the fact that I had a carton of buttermilk in the fridge that needed using up in the next day or so, decided on the Irish Soda Bread.  I can remember making this years ago and enjoying it with a nice bowl of soup, so thought this would be a good one to make on a rainy day.

With only 5 ingredients, I knew it wouldn’t take long to make, so I put the oven on to preheat and took my time with the rest, in order that the oven was up to temperature by the time the loaf was put in.

Lightly greased the baking tray.

Then into a bowl went the strong white flour, the bicarbonate of soda, the buttermilk and salt.  These were mixed together and then I added some water, a tablespoon at a time.  Mary said you would need approximately 6 tablespoons of water.  I only needed 5 in order to bring the mixture together to a very soft dough.

The dough was turned out onto a lightly floured work surface where I kneaded it for a couple of minutes as it wasn’t quite smooth enough for my liking, whether this was correct or not I do not know as Mary says to shape it into a neat round and nothing at all about kneading.  

I shaped the dough into a ball and  placed it on the baking tray.  A shallow cross was then made in the top.  Looking back through the recipe I don’t think  I flattened the dough out enough, as it should have been about 18cm in diameter and I don’t think mine was.

Into the oven it went for 30 minutes, after which time it had to be turned over and baked for another 15 minutes.  After this time I tapped the bottom of the loaf but it didn’t sound hollow, so it was popped back in for another 5 minutes.  My loaf was definitely ‘tall’ and should have been flattened out a bit before placing in the oven, but after leaving to cool for a while it was sliced and spread with butter and enjoyed.  

A very quick and easy way to make bread – almost too quick, you definitely need to put your oven on to preheat quite a time before you start as it will not have chance to preheat!!


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