Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mum's Soda Bread

No, it's not my mom's but Tony Tobin's mum's recipe for soda bread. I've always wondered about this bread which I've heard quite often and finally made it two months ago. It's not as daunting as it seems and actually keeps quite well. If its your first time making bread, this should be something you can master pretty easily. I got this recipe from a collection of recipes of UK cooks in a book called 'Saturday Kitchen Cookbook - The Top 100 recipes from the TV series'. I didn't get to see the show since I'm in Sweden, but some recipes seems quite interesting. The only thing is not all the recipes come with a picture, which I kinda of like in cookbooks, because you have something to expect and maybe less easy to go wrong? Or I'm just a picture person :)

The interesting tidbit about this bread is about the cross that's made on top. According to Wikipedia, it was suppose to a) ward off the devil or b) let the fairies out of the bread (??) or c) help air circulation so the cook rises and cook better or d) helps when slicing the bread to even out the portions. Which would you think it's true?

Irish Soda Bread

Ingredients (for 1 loaf)
450g wholemeal flour
225g self-raising flour or if you use ordinary flour, add 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder plus 1/4 teaspoon salt to every 140g of flour. (I got this tip from Joy of Baking)
1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons of sugar
600ml milk
250ml plain yoghurt

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C. Mix the wholemeal flour in a bowl with the self-raising flour, bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar, salt and sugar.
  2. Mix together the milk and yoghurt in a separate bowl and add to the flour to make a soft dough. Flour your hands generously and the work surface and knead lightly until the dough is smooth.
  3. Shape the dough into a circle about 4cm deep, take a sharp, floured knife and cut a deep cross on the top.
  4. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes until crusty and brown, it should be ready when you hear the hollow sound when you tap on the bottom of the bread.
    Irish Soda Bread

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