Irish White Soda Bread
I noticed that for an Irish food blog, Val's Kitchen wasn't very Irishy at all, so it's time to remedy that. I also noticed that, despite witnessing de mammy making soda bread millions of times that I'd never made itt myself. I was afraid and I had to overcome it. Soda bread is the kind of bread, in certain kinds of kitchens, that just materializes out of thin air while the kettle is boiling. It's is so effortless that it makes the holy grail of regular bread making just look like too much work. As there is no yeast, there is no prooving (?) of the dough, and no waiting for days before you finally have a loaf of bread. I surfed the net for a recipe and I saw that lots of them are complicated and have butter and stuff in them. No need people, the only strange ingredient you need is buttermilk, the other one is bread soda. The acid in the buttermilk combine with the soda to create the air in the bread. I lifted this recipe from the RTE website, but, to be honest it belongs to someone from so long ago I can't tell. Does anybody have a brief history of Soda Bread for me? I changed the cooking times and temp, or course. You can tell if the loaf is done by turning it on it's head, slapping it on the bottom and if it sounds hollow, it's ready. When it's cooling (fat chance) cover it with a damp tea towel then the crust won't end up like shoe leather.
Here you go and enjoy
400g plain flour
Pinch of salt
Level teaspoon of bread soda
Mix the flour, salt and bread soda together in a large mixing bowl.
Add in the buttermilk and mix completely. The Mammys always use their hand in a claw-like shape to bind the ingredients, you can use a dough hook, but hand is more fun.
Take out of the bowl and put onto a floured work surface and knead into a circular loaf shape.
Cut a deep cross into the bread, this allows it to expand, and bake at 170 degrees C for one hour
Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool.Enjoy with a slab of Kerrygold butter and a smile
P.S That's a batch of oatmeal muffins in the background, if you're going to bake you may as well make the place messy