March 17th is St Patrick’s Day! Soda bread was first introduced to Ireland in 1840s, has ever since has become a staple to many diets and has become a tradition to eat on St Patrick’s Day. The hard crisp exterior balanced with soft, airy and fluffy interior is the perfect vessel for butter, jam, cheese and so much more.
This bread is risen with bicarbonate of soda, which, mixed with buttermilk, produces a distinctive and delicious flavour.
300g /10.5 oz white flour – or mixture of wholemeal and white flour
½ teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon salt
30g / 1 oz butter (or 2 tablespoons rapeseed oil)
280ml / 8oz buttermilk to blend to a firm dough (a little more may be required)
- – Preheat your oven to 350ºF/180ºC
- – Place all dry ingredients in a bowl.
- – If using butter, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs
- – If using oil, add the oil to the buttermilk and mix the two well
- – Add the buttermilk (or buttermilk mix) into the dry ingredients until sufficiently moistened to make a soft dough – rather like a scone mixture. Do not overmix, but work as speedily as possible.
- – Form the dough into a round ball and then flatten, ensuring that the bottom is coated in flour, and place on a greased baking sheet.
- – Using a sharp knife, cut across the round quite deeply, marking the bread into four pieces.
- – Bake in the oven for about 25 – 30 minutes, or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Cool on a wire rack.
- – Eat freshly baked as this loaf goes stale very quickly.
If you’re interested in learning how to make more breads and pastries, join us in one of our upcoming classes.