Saturday, 10 October 2009

Soda bread is easy

I baked some bread this week and was reminded of how easy it can be. Which is lucky, because I was reclaiming my evening - knackered from running induction sessions for freshers, I was determined not to snooze away my free time. That, and the buttermilk was already past its date. Anyway, this is a recipe I adapted from Best of Irish Home Baking (because the buttermilk I can get locally tends to come in half-pint pots). The weights of flour are approximate - you'll need to judge the consistency of the dough once it's formed.

Brown soda bread

300g (11oz) wholemeal flour
120g (4 oz) plain white flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
1-2 tbsp wheat bran (or try oatmeal or seeds or a combination)
284ml pot of buttermilk

Preheat the oven to GM 6 (200°C). Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Add the buttermilk and mix lightly to combine. If it's too dry, add a little water - but the dough should not be sticky. Bring the dough together with your hands - you can knead a little if necessary, but don't handle it too much - and form it into a ball. Place it on a baking sheet and flatten it slightly. Cut a cross in the top (I find a table knife is best for this). Bake for 35-45 minutes (until the loaf sounds hollow if you tap it). It needs to be eaten the same day - though it also freezes well.