Bread of the Week – Irish Soda Bread
A traditional Irish Soda breads is one of the simplest breads to bake. It’s important to measure the bread soda meticulously – use a knife to level off the spoon if you don’t own measuring spoons.The bread soda acts as the raising agent by reacting with the lactic acid in the milk to produce CO2, which raises the bread. Like the Basic White Yeast Bread from last week, this recipe comes from the November 2011 issue of Food & Wine Magazine.
Preheat the oven to 185degC. Sieve 450g plain flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, 2 tsp bread soda and 2 tsp cream of tartar into a large bowl.
Cut 50g chilled butter into small cubes, then rub into the flour for about a minute. Pour in 350ml buttermilk to make a soft dough. If the dough is a little dry, add more buttermilk (or a sprinkle of flour if too wet).
Put the dough on a lightly greased and floured baking tray and shape into a large round. Score the top of the dough with a cross. Dust with a little flour and bake for 40 minutes until golden brown. To check if the bread is done, tap it on the base. If it sounds hollow, it’s ready.