Simply Delicious Soda Bread

Before I get side-tracked on some other tangent, let me post the recipe for my white soda bread here. Let me just tell you this: it is SCRUMPTIOUS. After I had the baby, Fergal made me bread and scones until I was back on my feet again, and we had this with home made chutney, tomatoes from the polytunnel and delicious Irish Organic cheese every day. Boy, was it good.

I frequently make this with white spelt flour; and brown spelt: adding seeds, oats and seaweed to that mix (about a fistful). Cooking for me is a very loose, organic process, I tend to fling bits of this and that into the mix:- for example, sundried tomatoes and herbs chopped finely and mxed into the white dough would be a great addition too, or goats cheese and herbs or finely chopped onion… possibilities are endless.

Anyway. I’d love to know how you get on with this! 

(Emily’s) Soda Bread

Preheat the oven, good and high to about 180’C. 

In a big bowl, mix:

-450gms (1 lb) flour

-1 level teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda / bread soda

-1 teaspoon on salt and

-1 tablespoon of sugar. 

 With a fork I give this an “airy” mix, and then into the centre break an egg and stir it in. I am always wary of making the mix too wet, so this is why I add the wet ingredients in stages- and no matter how much I measure, each time it is a different quantity of wet; so:

 -I add 250mls of natural yogurt- (you can also use buttermilk which is the traditional liquid to use)  

I very quickly stir the yogurt into the mix, then slowly add a glug of milk until the mix just comes together- it is very quick. I reckon you will use about 1 cup of milk altogether. Mix quickly with a fork.

 -Once it comes together, flour a flat tray and turn it out. Only handle it minimally- just to shape it into a round (about 1 and a half- 2 inches high), approx 8 inches across. I score a cross in it, and dot each quarter (superstition!!!!!) and into a hot oven- 180’C for 10 mins, then turn down to 160’C for about 20 mins. It will look golden and risen, and when you take it off the tray, hollow when tapped on the bottom. If you are worried, stick a skewer or piece of spagetti into the centre to check it is cooked. It cooks much faster like this than being put into a loaf tin.

My children cannot resist hot bread from the oven (neither can their parents) As always, make sure it is thickly spread with “real” dairy butter (none of this easy-spread modified stuff please) and optional extras on top. 

 ♥D ♥E ♥L ♥I ♥S ♥H ♥!!!