Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

Well it LOOKS convincing!

After the triumph (!) of my lime drizzle cake, I decided that it would be good to try something savoury.  Making normal bread is completely out of the question at the moment – unless my boyfriend did ALL the kneading for me, AND carried the heavy bowel to and from a warm cupboard…  also the time involved in the whole rising/knocking back process doesn’t much appeal to me for now.

So imagine my delight on stumbling across a BBC GoodFood recipe by Margaret Hickey for Irish soda bread.  “No-fuss”, it promised; “Perfect!” I thought.  And so I set about baking a homemade vehicle for my current Paddington-rivalling marmalade habit.

How I got on:

  • It was true – it really was easy!  And I was so thrilled not to need to cream butter and sugar!!
  • I used a bit more buttermilk than it said because it seemed a little dry.
  • I had read in other people’s comments that the key to a successful loaf was to do everything VERY QUICKLY as soon as you added the buttermilk, as it starts to react with the bicarbonate of soda.  Cue complete frenzy as I try to assemble it all VERY QUICKLY without hurting myself too much!
  • After putting the main loaf on the tray there were some dry scraps of dough left so I added a splash more buttermilk and fashioned it into a mini loaf at the side of the baking tray.

How it came out:

Irish Soda Bread

An excellent marmalade surface.

  • It took a lot longer in the oven than the recipe said, but it was very easy to tell when it was cooked through by how hollow it sounded when knocked on the bottom.
  • Unsurprisingly, the tiny loaf cooked much faster.  This was ideal because the smell of the bread cooking had made me extremely hungry, so I ate the small bit while I waited for the big one to finish.
  • It was a PERFECT friend for my marmalade and was really delicious toasted.  Next time I make it, I would use a little less salt – maybe just half a teaspoon would be enough.

Personal Progress:

  • I felt really proud of making bread (even if I hadn’t done any kneading!).  It took about 30 minutes again and was easier physically than the drizzle cake because the mixing was less heavy duty.  It really was no fuss (apart from the speed-related panic above!).  I still needed an immediate sleep after finishing again though.

If this has inspired you to have a go:

Irish Soda Bread – BBC GoodFood

Caroline Crimson x

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