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Irish Soda Bread

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By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 4

Irish Soda Bread

Irelands traditional bread is "Soda Bread". In the mid 1840 soda bread were made with sourdough and yeast created by fermenting ale. The Irish soda bread became very popular when bicarbonate of soda was introduced to Ireland in the second half of the 19th century. Soda bread is a quick bread where bread soda is used for leavening and not yeast for rising. Soda bread uses buttermilk in the dough as it contains lactic acid that reacts with the baking soda to form tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide. As a result the soda bread can dry out quickly and is good after baking for two to three days only, as it dries out quickly . It is best served warm or toasted.

The main ingredients for Soda Bread are: flour, bread soda, salt and buttermilk. The traditional soda bread is made of whole wheat while the white flour soda bread adds the raisins, egg or various type of nuts.

The reason for the cross is used to help with the cooking of the bread. The making of the cross allows air circulation so that the bread rises better. It also serves as a guideline for cutting even slices. The other old sayings of the reason for the cross is to ward off evil or to let the fairies out of the bread.

Here are some recipes for "Soda Bread"

"Irish Whole Wheat Soda Bread"

3 Cups of whole wheat flour,

1 Cup of all purpose flour,

1 Teaspoon of salt,

1 Teaspoon of baking soda,

3 Quarter teaspoon of baking powder,

1-2 Cups of Buttermilk or soured cream,

Directions:

In a large bowl, sift together both the flours, salt, baking soda and baking powder until well combined.

Add enough of the buttermilk to make a soft dough but firm enough to hold its shape,

Knead on a lightly floured board for 2 - 3 minutes until, dough is smooth and velvety,

Form it into a round loaf and place in a well buttered 8 inch cake pan or a well buttered cookie sheet,

Cut a cross on the top with a floured knife,

Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 35 - 40 minutes or until the loaf is nicely browned and sounds hollow the thumped with knuckles,

Or, place a dry knife into the center of bread and if it knife comes out dry and clear of dough the bread is cooked to the center. The cross will have spread open on the bread when cooked and brown.

 

"Irish Soda Bread"

4 Cups of all purpose flour,

2 Tablespoon of sugar,

1 Teaspoon salt,

1 Teaspoon baking soda,

4 Tablespoon of butter,

1 Cup of raisins,

1 Large egg lightly beaten,

1 - 2 Cups of buttermilk or soured cream,

Directions:

Mix the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in a large mixing bowl,

With your fingers work in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal and then stir in raisins,

In the center of mixture add beaten egg and buttermilk and stir in with wooden spoon until dough is too stiff to stir,

Dust hands with flour and knead dough in the bowl long enough to form a rough ball,

If the dough is too sticky to work add a little more flour,

Do not over knead,

Form it into a round loaf and place in a well buttered 8 inch cake pan or a well buttered cookie sheet,

Cut a cross on top with a floured knife,

Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 35 - 40 minutes or until the loaf is nicely browned and sounds hollow the thumped with knuckles,

Or, place a dry knife into the center of bread and if it knife comes out dry and clear of dough the bread is cooked to the center. The cross will have spread open on the bread when cooked and brown.

Remove pan or sheet from oven, let bread sit in the pan or on the sheet for 5-10 minutes, then remove to a rack to cool briefly. Serve bread warm, at room temperature, or sliced and toasted. Best when eaten warm and just baked.

Afternoon tea in Ireland is as popular as afternoon tea when in England. This usually consists of small cut sandwiches with scones, creamed butter, jam and a pot of tea. Scones are always served warmed.

'Soda Scones Recipe"

Ingredients:

1 Half cup of currants,

1and half cups of all purpose four,

1 Cup white pastry flour,

1 Teaspoon baking soda,

1 Half teaspoon of salt,

2 Teaspoons of sugar,

1 Quarter teaspoon of lemon juice,

1 Cup of buttermilk or soured cream,

Some extra buttermilk (for brushing),

Some extra sugar (for sprinkling),

Directions:

Soak the currants in hot water for about 15 minutes prior to baking,

In a large bowl, combine the all purpose flour, pastry flours, baking soda, salt, and sugar,

Drain water from currants and add currants,

Form a well in the center of mixture and add the lemon juice and buttermilk,

Mix with a wooden spoon until dough comes together,

Set the oven at 350°F. Flour a baking sheet.

On a floured surface pat out the dough into half inch thinkness,

Using a 2 and a half inch round cookie cutter of a drinking glass/small tea cup and cut out 12 scones,

Leftover dough scraps can be rerolled for cutting out more scones,

Place the scones on the floured baking sheet and brush with buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar,

Place in preheated 350 degree F oven for about 15 minutes or until they are lightly browned,

Insert a toothpick to the ceter of a scone and if it comes out clean they are ready.

Serve warm.


"Raisin Scones"

Ingredients:

2 Cups of all purpose flour,

4 Teaspoon baking powder,

5 Tablespoons sugar,

5 Tablespoons unsalted butter,

1 Eighth teaspoon of salt,

2 Third cup of milk,

1 Half cup of raisins,

1 Egg lightly beaten,

Directions:

Sift the flour and baking powder together

 

In a medium or large bowl sift the flour and bakig powder,

Add the sugar and butter,

Blend together with hands or blender until mixture resembles fine crumbs,

Form a well in the center of mixture and add the milk and raisins,

Stir gently and be careful not to overmix,

On a floured surface pat out the dough into half inch thinkness,

Using a 2 and a half inch round cookie cutter of a drinking glass/small tea cup and cut out 12 scones,

Leftover dough scraps can be rerolled for cutting out more scones,

Place the scones on a floured baking sheet and brush egg on the tops of scones,

Place in preheated 350 degree F oven for about 15 minutes or until they are lightly browned,

Insert a toothpick to the ceter of a scone and if it comes out clean they are ready.

Serve warm.

Makes 12 Scones.

"Creamed Butter"

To make the creamed butter,

In a small bowl mix butter and cream and blend into a paste (50/50 on quantity of butter and cream),

Place in refridgerator to set and chill.

Serve the warm scones with cream butter and jams (jellys) of your choice and a pot of hot tea.

Enjoy!


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Comments

Apr 5, 2010 12:29am
eileen
It is amazing how many recipies are made with soda, in a lot of recipies you can use baking (bicarb soda instead of an egg) thanks for sharing this and welcome to infobarrel. I hope you are enjoying it in here they are a great bunch and very helpful. cheers
Sep 4, 2010 1:22pm
EllenAlanna
Thanks Eileen,

Just getting the hang of it really.
Jun 10, 2011 10:07pm
ladybugblue
Thanks for the awesome recipe!
Dec 3, 2011 1:44am
JadeDragon
Very well described. I might just try some soda bread :)
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