Soda bread is a great thing, because it is so incredibly low maintenance. It does not require yeast, which can take quite a bit of work to prepare. You can literally mix the ingredients together, throw it in the oven and fuggetaboutit! Which allows you to have fresh, homemade bread at dinner without spending ten hours kneading, letting it rise and such.
Soda bread is also extremely versatile. You like sweet bread? add more sugar, or honey, and raisins. You like herbs? Add rosemary or thyme. Like nuts? Add whichever one you like. The bottom line is that soda bread is very forgiving, which gives you room to experiment without it turning into a disaster.
I particularly like walnuts, and thought that they would be great in soda bread. Well, they are!
Here is the recipe —
-2 cups whole wheat flour
-2 cups self rising flour
-1 1/2 tsp salt
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp baking powder
-3 Tbsp sugar
-3 Tbsp honey
-1/3 cup melted butter
-1 cup buttermilk
-1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Set oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl combine whole flour, self rising flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, walnuts and sugar. Make sure everything is mixed well. Stir in butter, honey, and buttermilk until the dough comes together.
DO NOT knead
DO NOT over mix
Very important to just mix enough until it comes together. Then shape into a ball and put it in a buttered, oven safe, baking sheet. Get a knife and make a cross on the top of it. While it does have religious implications that went along with making the shape of the cross instead of, lets say, a square, there is also science behind it. If you make the cuts the heat will penetrate the dough, naughty…, which will allow for more even cooking. So do not skip this step.
Before you pop it in the oven, brush the top surface with melted butter, for added gloss. Let it bake for 30 minutes, at this time brush with butter again and insert a pick into the center and see if it comes out clean. If it doesn’t then put back in for another 10 minutes, and repeat until the pick comes out clean.
Serve hot, fresh off the oven with a generous dollop of butter or a drizzle of honey. It will be good for up to two days, after that it will be too hard to be pleasant.
This concludes our St. Patrick’s Day series. I hope you all enjoyed it and that you tried or will try at least one of these recipes!!