It’s been years (really, it has!) since I gave you a soda bread recipe. It doesn’t mean I’ve stopped baking soda bread, but mostly we’re a sourdough household right now.
Best friend Ria baked herself a loaf recently, so jumping on her soda bread bandwagon, I baked one too. I used the whey from curd cheese making, once again, but the recipe usually calls for buttermilk. This recipe is different from my Up The Mountain Soda Bread as it does not include oats or butter. Try both and see which one you prefer!
Ingredients to make one loaf (keeps well for about 4 days)
- 250g plain flour
- 250 wholemeal or granary flour (I used granary which gives it a slightly sweeter, nuttier taste and a slightly chewy texture)
- About 400ml of buttermilk or whey (if you don’t have either, squeeze half a tablespoon of lemon juice into milk, stir and leave it to stand for 30 minutes at room temperature and then it will be ready to use)
- 1 teaspoon of Bicarbonate of Soda
- 1 teaspoon of salt
Mix the flours together with the salt and bicarbonate. Gradually stir in the liquid with a wooden spoon or your fingers. You may find you don’t need it all, but you want to end up with a slightly sticky mixture.
Dust your worktop with flour and shape the mix into a round. Try not to knead too much, it just needs to come together.
Place the loaf onto a baking tin lined with greaseproof (or baking) paper. Cut a deep cross into the loaf, almost all the way through. This will allow the heat to penetrate and the alkaline of the bicarbonate and the acid of the buttermilk will work together to make your loaf rise. I’m afraid I’m no great scientist, so apologies if my explanation of the bread magic is somewhat simple!
Dust the loaf with flour, cover with a clean tea towel and leave, if possible, for 30 minutes, You can bake immediately if you choose but this extra 30 minutes really seems to allow the acid and alkaline to start doing their thing so that the loaf is raring to go when it reaches the heat of the oven. Don’t expect it to rise before baking like a regular loaf.
Heat your oven to 200 degrees and when you are ready, bake the loaf for about 30 minutes. It should be browned on the top and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Leave to cool, if you can resist, and enjoy in the same way as a regular bread.