Homemade Irish White Soda Bread Recipe
Ever get a real goo for some homemade Irish White Soda Bread, you know the type that your Granny used to make?
My Granny used to whip up the most amazing soda bread in minutes. The smell of it baking in the old wood burning stove, its golden crust when it was baked … and it was always baked to perfection! She could rustle a bread up with her eyes closed and there was no such thing as measuring using weighing scales. Not at all. It was a cup of this and a pinch of that. Fantastic! I miss her and wish I had asked her to show me more.
It’ll take me many tries to perfect my homemade Irish White Soda Bread technique, and many years after to bake it like my Granny did, but practice makes perfect, or so they say.
If you’d like to give making your own Irish White Soda Bread at home, here’s a simple recipe and a couple of tips to help make it scrumptious…
- 2 lb of White Flour
- 1/2 tablespoon or 1 level teaspoon of Bread Soda (Bicarbonate of Soda)
- 1/2 tablespoon or 1 level teaspoon of Salt
- 0.5 litres of Buttermilk
*Tip – Unless you’re a verified Domestic Gods/Goddesses, you won’t always have buttermilk in your fridge. However to get over this you can use sour milk instead. To make fresh milk sour, you can add a teaspoon of white vinegar to the milk and it should turn sour after 15 minutes or so. However I would recommend buying some buttermilk before you try this recipe as it does make the bread taste better.
- Preheat the oven to 450°f / 230°c / Gas Mark 8
- In a bowl add the flour, bread soda and salt. Some recommend sifting the flour, I never bother.
- When the oven is hot enough get the buttermilk ready.
- Making a well in the middle of the flour add the buttermilk.
- With your fingertips bring the flour from the sides of the bowl and begin to mold your dough.
- Don’t kneed the dough, try be as light-fingered as possible.
- When the dough comes together, take it from the bowl and dust with flour.
- Add a little flour to a flat baking tray and place your dough in the middle.
- With a big knife cut a cross in the bread to help it bake evenly or let the fairies out … you choose!
- Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 10 mins on this high heat.
- Lower the heat to approx 400°f /200°c / Gas Mark 6 after 10 mins and bake for an additional 30/35 minutes or until done.
* Tips Galore – It is important that the oven is preheated so don’t start until it is nearly hot enough. The bread soda begins to activate as soon as the buttermilk is added so this part of getting the dough together should only take a few minutes. The quicker it’s from the bowl into the oven the better!
To know if the bread is done, take it out of the oven, turn it over and tap the bottom of it – if it sounds hollow it’s ready!
Sometimes the crust can become too hard so to prevent this my Granny wrapped the bread in a tea-towel as soon as it came out of the oven! This is what I do now and it makes such a difference.
If by chance (and it’s a slim chance at that) you have a slice left over that has gone a little bit stale, then butter it and fry in a pan along with your ‘Sunday Morning Fry Up’ – We all need comfort food from time to time and this should do the trick.
You can add sultana’s to the mix if you fancy a change … yum!