irish.soda.bread.facts

I made some homemade butter last week, and the by product is always buttermilk. So of course that means I get to treat myself to some fabulous toast this week in the form of Irish Soda Bread. It’s one of the easiest recipes for bread and bakes up into a fabulously wonky peasant loaf.

  • Mix 2 cups flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda & 3/4 tsp salt* in a bowl (*note: if you are using the buttermilk remaining from your homemade butter, skip the salt as your milk will already be salted)
  • Add 1 cup buttermilk to the mixture and stir to form a soft dough
  • Either knead on a floured surface or in the bowl for 2-3 minutes
  • Form the dough into a round loaf about 8 inches across – cross hatch with a knife to spiff it up
  • Bake for 40 minutes at 350*
  • The bread is done when it sounds hollow after a light thump

 

For a softer crust, wrap in a clean tea towel and set the bread on it’s side to cool.

I did a little research into the history of soda bread while the bread was baking and it’s pretty interesting stuff! Did you know that the cross hatch on the bread is considered “blessing the bread” and is meant to let the fairies out and keep the household safe?  The cross also allows the bread to be broken easily in the hand in the event that an unexpected guest arrived – breaking bread to share. It is a bread based in poverty as it is made with the simplest of ingredients – the baking powder replaces yeast – and is formed in different shapes based on region? Interesting!

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