Recipe Submitted By:

Irish Soda Bread

     

My Granny is 94 years old and she has been making this soda bread for 85 years, every day... ULTIMATE FOODIE!

Notes:
The dough should feel light in your hands, almost as if it will fall through your fingers - silky soft. Do not overwork the dough, otherwise it will be awful. Just trust yourself and you'll be right.
This bread can handle a hot oven and I use cast iron because thats what my Granny uses.
Buttermilk can be expensive so I just keep a couple of dessert spoons of the milk and then add a carton of UHT milk to it in an old plastic milk container. Leave overnight in the hottest place in your house and presto tomorrow you have buttermilk!
I say this because once you get this bread right, you will want to make it again and again.
I have tried this in the breadmaker but it beats the dough too much, by hand is much better and the lumps seem to work themselves out.
The cross in the top is tradition, you could leave it out but I'm not game.
My Granda has been eating this bread every day of his 60 year marriage to my Granny, something with this recipe is RIGHT!
Enjoy

Ingredients

625ml Buttermilk
3 tbsp Oil
675g flour
1 tsp bread improver (optional)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Bicarb soda
3 tsp baking powder

Best made in a cast iron pan and a VERY hot oven. See note re preparation of the pan.

Method

Prepare the pan by adding butter and heating it to very hot on the stovetop, don't be shy with the butter which should be frothing when the bread hits the pan.

Add the oil to the buttermilk

Add all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and then tip in the buttermilk/oil mixture

Mix together using a table knife (cutting motion) and then bring together with your hands.

The mixture should be quite wet but all the flour should be combined, you should need to wash hands after you place the bread in the pan otherwise its too dry.

Lift bread to pan and allow to sit on stovetop for a minute while you cut a cross into the top.

Transfer to a hot oven (over 200C is ok), you can turn the oven down later but it needs to start off hot.

The bread is ready once hollow on the bottom.

Cool completely before opening.

Eat however you like but the spicy strawberry jam recipe is the perfect accompaniment.

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