Soda Bread is such a quick and delicious bread to make. It requires no kneading or proving and can be on the table in less than 45 minutes!
With St. Patrick’s Day being celebrated this week, I thought what better time than to make the traditional Irish Soda Bread. If you have never tried Soda Bread, it is like a cross between bread and scones. It should have a crunchy, golden brown crust and a soft, flavoursome centre.
Unlike normal bread recipes which use yeast to give rise, soda bread is leavened with bicarbonate of soda therefore requires no kneading or proving. In fact, you want to work the dough as little as possible to keep the bread soft, much like when making scones.
It keeps slightly better than other homemade bread but is best eaten within a day or two, or it can be frozen.
CHEESE AND ONION SODA BREAD
adapted from Paul Hollywood ‘Soda Bread’
- 500g plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 400ml buttermilk
- 100g extra mature cheddar, grated
- 1 medium white onion, chopped
How to make Soda Bread:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C fan/200°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
2. Sieve the flour, bicarbonate and salt into a large bowl. Add the buttermilk and stir in (I use a knife to give it an initial mix).
3. Add the grated cheese and chopped onion. Mix in with your hands until evenly incorporated.
4. Tip onto a lightly floured surface. Form into a ball, pressing together as you do this.
5. Put the dough onto the prepared baking tray, press down slightly and dust with flour. Cut (not quite to the bottom) into quarters. This allows the centre of the bread to cook.
6. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the base.
7. Eat warm or leave to cool on a wire rack.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!