My mother texted me this morning asking for Rachel Allen’s Soda Bread recipe. And I couldn’t believe that I had omitted that from the Ballycotton Fish Chowder post. Doh!
So here is the recipe for my mom and for all of you who I inadvertently left hanging on the promise of a fantastic Irish soda bread recipe. It’s so easy and I have it on good authority from my family that it’s mighty tasty too. (Anyone have a good recipe for gluten-free soda bread? I’m going to experiment with one over the weekend.)
- 3½ cups (450 g) all-purpose (plain) flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp. superfine (caster), or granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1½ to 2 cups (350-425 ml) buttermilk or soured milk
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C or mark 8).
- Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pout in most of the buttermilk, leaving about ¼ cup (50 ml) in the measuring cup. Using one hand with your fingers outstretched like a claw, bring the flour and liquid together, adding more buttermilk, if necessary. Don't knead the mixture, or it will become heavy. The dough should be soft, but not too wet and sticky.
- When the dough comes together, turn it onto a floured work surface and bring it together a little more. Pat the dough into a round about 1½ inches (4 cm) thick and cut a deep cross in it. Place on a baking sheet. (I lined mine with parchment paper.)
- Bake for 15 minutes. Turn down the heat to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C or gas mark 6) and bake for 30 minutes more. When done, the load will sound slightly hollow when tapped on the bottom and be golden in color. I (Rachel) often turn it upside down for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Allow to cool on a wire rack.