White Soda Bread

Total Time:
40 min
Prep:
10 min
Cook:
30 min

Yield:
one loaf
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 1 pound (450 grams/ 3 1/4 cups) white flour, preferably unbleached
  • 1 level teaspoon/1/2 American teaspoon salt
  • 1 level teaspoon/1/2 American teaspoon bread soda ( baking soda)*see note
  • Sour milk or buttermilk to mix - about 12 to 14 fluid ounces (350 to 412 milliliters)
  • *Note: an Irish tablespoon is the same quantity as an American tablespoon plus a teaspoon
Directions

First fully preheat your oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

Sift the dry ingredients. Make a well in the center. Pour all of the milk in at once. Using 1 hand, mix in the flour from the sides of the bowl, adding more milk if necessary. The dough should be softish, not too wet and sticky. When it all comes together, turn it out onto a well floured board.

WASH AND DRY YOUR HANDS. Knead lightly for a second, just enough to tidy it up, flip over. Pat the dough into a round about 12 inches (2.5 centimeters) and cut a cross on it to let the fairies out! Let the cuts go over the sides of the bread to make sure of this. Bake in a hot oven for 15 minutes, then turn down the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) for 30 minutes, or until cooked. If you are in doubt, tap the bottom of the bread: if it is cooked it will sound hollow.

Soda bread only takes 2 or 3 minutes to make and 20 to 30 minutes to bake. It is certainly another of my 'great convertibles'. We have had the greatest fun experimenting with different variations and uses. It's also great with olives, sun-dried tomatoes or caramelized onions added, so the possibilities are endless for the hitherto humble soda bread.

Note: This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. The FN chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.


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    I wasn't so sure this bread would turn out as it is such a simple, easy recipe. It turned out perfect. I was serving Corned Beef and Cabbage for St. Patrick's Day and this was just what we wanted. We did use 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon baking soda with 3 1/4 cups flour and 1 1/2 cups cold buttermilk (lowfat plus a couple more tablespoons buttermilk to make it come together. I did kneed it for 10 seconds to bring it all together on my floured surface. After cutting the top, I placed it on a flat cast iron skillet and put it in my oven for the exact time specified. It came out golden brown, hearty, and delicious. We'll make it with our favorite soups in the future and it'll be perfect. We also live at high altitude and we baked it at 450 degrees in an electric oven with no problem or change in recipe. Would highly recommend as a go to bread!
    The flavor is bland. Next time I'll add some sugar and ??
    I never use eggs-sugar-butter-those go in cakes
     
    I use 2 cups flour
     
    1 1/2 tsps baking powder
     
    3/4 tsp salt
     
    1/4 tsp baking soda
     

     
    243 caraway seeds
     
    handful of raisins
     
    mix dry stuff
     
    1 cup buttermilk
     
    knead dough-2-3 flips
     
    grease a CAST IRON PAN
     
    oven temp 350
     
    check after 45-60 minutes
     
    or two pints of Harp
     
    \makes small loaf-double for double pleasure
     
    I normally make 8-12 in March-other times 1 or 2 at a time
    I'm Irish and very into my heritage, this is delicious and easy! I make it all the time.
    The beloved New Matriarch of Ballymaloe Cooking School has made a True Believer that Less Is Better.Watched Her prepare this or a similar loaf on Chef Flay's Show from Ireland.Lovely.Have Several of the Allen Family Cookery Books.You cannot go wrong with this recipe. It may "feel" a little "wet".As tho' You have to pour it into the Loaf Pan.Follow Mrs.Allen and Perfection.A Great Irish Bread recipe from a rariefied Donien of Ireland's Cuisine and Heritage of cooking/baking Organically and Knowing Where the Food Items came from are quite integral to One and All.{Metric is More Precise}.
    If you are using an electric oven 450 degrees is fine. If you are using a gas oven back the temperature down to 410 degrees. Keep in mind that gas ovens remove moisture from the product. Ireland uses mainly electric cooking appliances so all recipes call for a higher cooking temperature.
    My family has made this for generations by adding raisins that have soaked in warm water for about 20 minutes and caraway seeds.
     

     
    I have one version where a beaten egg is added with the milk.
    Use 1 tsp. salt and baking soda. Every measurement conversion site I've found says that a British teaspoon and an American teaspoon are the same, only at the tablespoon level does it vary (an American Tablespoon = 3 teaspoons, a British Tablespoon = 4 teaspoons). The note is confusing, as is the 1 teaspoon / 1/2 American teaspoon comment in the ingredient list. Even if the recipe was cut down from something that was measured in British tablespoons, the variance in 1 teaspoon wouldn't be correct, either a teaspoon is right or it isn't, whichever side of the pond you are on.
    This was the first time I'd made a soda bread. I was alarmed by how much the bread darkened. And was also worried about the size the recipe said to pat the dough out, seemed too thin and too hot an oven.
     
    But I was very happily surprised. The bread turned out chewy, moist and tasty. This is a keeper recipe.
    This bread is very similar to the soda bread I've enjoyed in Ireland many times. Although easy to put together, it's surprisingly tasty as is. Of course, it's extremely well suited to butter or fruit spreads, and just plain delicious when served with soups, stews, or even chili.
     

     
    The recipe as written is a little confusing, however. Be sure to use 1/2 tsp of salt and baking soda (i.e. just ignore the Note). I usually find that 1/2 tsp baking soda sufficiently neutralizes the acid in 1 cup of buttermilk, so I actually used 3/4 tsp of baking soda for this recipe (which uses roughly 1.5 cups of buttermilk). Also, I would recommend using 12 oz of all purpose flour mixed with 4 oz of pastry or cake flour. Flour in Ireland has a much lower protein content than flour in the U.S. So using some pastry or cake flour helps produce a softer crumb more similar to the soda bread in Ireland. Also, I would recommend baking this in a cast iron skillet instead of a baking sheet if possible. This will produce a wonderful, firm crust on the bottom of the loaf that is just plain amazing!
    The bread turned out great! I can definitely see putting raisins or some other fruit in the mix, as well, but eating it while it is still warm with butter was delicious. It was incredibly easy to make, with little clean-up.
     

     
    We used 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of salt and baking soda. I believe that is the closest conversion to 1 tablespoon equalling 1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon.
    i love the ideas of cooking
    Only four ingredients, and I can't figure out how much to use of two of those. Someone who has tried this, please help.
     

     
    Ken, Walnut Creek, CA
    its easy n fun my 6 yr old makes this bread i help pure out the ingreadents n she adds them to the mixer n mixes it she kineeds it and i shap it then she cut the top n says come out come out fairires n bring us good luck, and the bread tasted good as well we use it to dunk in to soups n gravy sand just as a snake with chees or lunch meat open faced , this one give u kid n mommie or daddy time with ur kids
    1 level teaspoon/1/2 American teaspoon salt
     
    1 level teaspoon/1/2 American teaspoon bread soda (baking soda)*see note
     

     
    But the note says that the equivalent in America for 1 Irish Tablespoon is 1 Tablespoon plus 1 Teasponn. So, for the recipe are we to use 1/2 tsp as listed above or was that a mistake and we use 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp?
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