This is one of the easiest bread recipes by far. Soda Bread is great if you’re just starting out making bread or if you need a quick loaf to serve at a dinner party. It’s also great if you’re quitting sugar, like me, because it doesn’t need sugar for the yeast.
Soda bread uses Bicarbonate of Soda to rise instead of yeast, hence the name. It originates from Ireland (the land of my distant forebears) and it’s everything you want in a loaf of bread. Crusty, knarly and gutsy, with a delicate, slightly sour flavour. Plus it’s blummin’ easy!
You have to work really quickly though, and get it in the oven as soon as you mould it into a dough.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 300g plain white flour
- 200g strong wholemeal flour
- 250ml buttermilk
- 150ml milk
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 heaped tsp bicarbonate of soda
Turn the oven to 200 degrees. It has got to be a hot oven!
Combine the flours, bicarb and salt into a mixing bowl to distribute the bicarb evenly, and create a well in the middle. Then pour in the buttermilk and milk, stirring quickly and creating a dough. You’ll notice it’s a very soft, wet dough. This is good – it’ll make it crunchy and light.
Once you have a dough, mould it onto a lightly floured surface and create a large bun shape. Sprinkle some plain flour on top and “let the fairies out” – gently run a sharp knife over the top in a cross and place onto a baking sheet.
Bake at 200 degrees for half an hour. If it’s done it should sound hollow.
That is it. So easy. No kneading, proving or leavening. I mix the milk with the buttermilk because traditional buttermilk isn’t as thick as the stuff you normally buy, which will give you a much heavier dough and you won’t get the crunchy crust or the rise.
Serve in long slices with soups, cheese boards or my favourite way to eat it is with a bowl of mussels marinère, dipping it into the garlicky liquor.
Let me know if you have a go! Happy baking!