Monday, 15 April 2013

Soda Bread: A Cinch

My breadmaking has been put on hold recently.  No, I haven't been running to the shop and sneaking  Mother's Pride into Lovelygrey Cottage.  That just wouldn't do, although I have to say that I am rather partial to a sneaky slice or two of the pappy stuff toasted and buttered if its available.  Instead I've been rather reliant on shop bought tortillas to make wraps or lightly fried chimichangas instead of a conventional lunchbox sandwich.  They keep well and just as versatile as 'normal bread'.

There are times though when a good old British loaf - or indeed an Irish one - is the only thing for the job. With soup, for example.  You can't really dunk a floppy flatbread successfully.  And so it was that yesterday I found myself  bereft of conventional bread but with a lovely batch of corn chowder made by Louis.  More about that in a later post.

So I decided to knock up some of that soda bread that recipes writers on the Web were assuring  me was a quick and easy make.  There was just the small matter of buttermilk that seemed to be a common ingredient.  Hardly a thing that's kept in the fridge, unless maybe you live on a dairy farm.  Not to fear.  I've scoured the Internet and bodged together the recipe that resulted in this handsome beauty.  I have to say that it tasted as good as it look and took about ten minutes to prepare.  You'll need:

450g/1lb plain bread flour (I reckon the ordinary stuff might do if you haven't got this)
1 level teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
1 level teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
14 floz of milk
1/2 a lemon

  • Heat oven to 230 degrees F or gas mark 8.  Or as high as it goes if your oven is a bit dodgy like mine.
  • Put dry ingredients in a big bowl and give them a bit of a stir.  Make a well in the centre
  • Add most of the milk with juice from the lemon squirted into it.  Then using one hand held like a poorly cat's paw, bring the ingredients together.  Don't knead.  Apparently this makes for a heavy loaf and we don't want that do we?  Add a bit more or the rest of the milk until the dough comes together.
  • Turn out onto a floured worktop and form into a round about an inch and a half high.
  • Pop onto an oiled baking tray and flour the top of the loaf.
  • Then bake for 15 minutes.  Turn the oven down a couple of settings and then cook for another 30 or so minutes until the bread sounds hollow when you tap its beautiful bottom!


  1. That does, indeed, look delicious, and just the thing for soup!

  2. I have made it fairly successfully with regular flour
    Also used half and half milk/natural yogurt in place of buttermilk.

    Soda bread is brilliant with soup - and even when not quite so fresh, it makes fab toast

    Your loaf looks delicious

    blessings xx