Homemade soda bread is surprisingly simple
With a name like Reiley I ought to know how to make a loaf of Irish soda bread. Actually, I was taught this homemade soda bread recipe by the owner of a sweet little pub in southwest Ireland. I was surprised to learn just how easy it is to make a hearty, satisfying loaf. With just 5 ingredients and no kneading required, you can produce a loaf of warm, crusty bread in under an hour.
Using the right ingredients
The key to this homemade loaf is high-quality, stone ground wheat flour. I had no trouble finding this kind of flour in Irish grocery stores. But it’s definitely more rare on North American shores. It may take a little searching to find the right flour to make an authentic soda bread. But the results are worth the effort. The Kitchn has a good article explaining exactly what defines a stone ground flour, in case you’re not sure. You can find this type of flour at some health food and specialty grocers. I know Bob’s Red Mill makes a nice stone ground whole wheat. The Bob’s Red Mill flour is available on Amazon if your local store doesn’t carry it.
This loaf tastes best served warm with hunks of golden, Irish butter. (In case you aren’t familiar with Irish butter, it’s basically a European butter with a high butterfat content. It typically has a vibrant, golden tone. This comes from the beta-carotene rich Irish grasses on which the cows are feeding. I recommend this butter for this particular bread because the creamy texture of the butter makes an exciting contrast with the bread’s grainy texture.) Slice and toast leftover soda bread and smear it with butter and jam for a quick and comforting breakfast or snack.
A simple recipe for a traditional soda bread--you won't believe how easy it is to make homemade bread!
- 3 cup stone ground whole wheat flour
- 1 cup white flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 cup buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Slowly add the buttermilk, stirring to combine, until you have a sticky dough.
- Knead the dough lightly before transferring to a lightly greased baking sheet.
- Shape the dough into a flattened round. Cut a cross into the top to release the fairies. (I was not aware that fairies live in bread dough but since I was instructed on this key step by an Irish baker, I'm sticking to it!)
- Bake for approximately 40-45 minutes. Bread will be golden on top and offer a hollow sound when tapped when it is fully cooked.
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