Irish Soda Bread

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I have been seeing Irish Soda Bread all over the place recently. It’s been in my face just like the cabbage. So, since I’ve never had the stuff and I’m a sucker for homemade breads (especially ones that don’t require a day’s worth of baking), I decided to give it a whirl.

Irish soda bread is a quick bread that requires no yeast and is generally made with a soft wheat flour. The use of baking soda and buttermilk react to leaven the bread. This was discovered by the Irish, which is why they are credited with the name. Many times raisins or currants are added to the bread; however, I went for a plain version due to not having any dried fruits on hand. This is honestly one of the easiest breads you will ever bake.

First, the recipe and my thoughts on the bread follow. I chose a very simple recipe with minimal ingredients, but there are plenty of them out there to choose from.

Irish Soda Bread
Ingredients:
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 3/4 cup almond milk
2 Tbsp lemon juice

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Combine the almond milk and lemon juice together and let sit for a few minutes to curdle. This serves as a sub for buttermilk in order to make the recipe vegan. You could use buttermilk in place of the almond/lemon juice.
3. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl.
4. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and gradually add the curdled almond milk, stirring just until ingredients are mixed. Do not over mix.
5. Dough will be very sticky. Using a tiny bit of flour, form dough into a round ball and place on baking sheet. Create a shallow X on the top with a knife or pair of kitchen scissors for the classic criss-cross appearance.
6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and firm.

So here’s my take on Irish Soda Bread. This is a very basic recipe and can be very versatile in that sense. We used it to accompany the stuffed cabbage rolls and slathered it with Earth Balance and used it to soak up sauce. In my opinion it is pretty plain on it’s own, but could be sliced for sandwiches, topped with butter, nut butters, or preserves. The addition of raisins or currants would be pretty good and I think I will definitely add them next time. Hopefully you enjoy this as well.

Have a great St. Patty’s Day this weekend!

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