Soda Bread is an absolutely delicious easy “bread” to make. No yeast involved! It seems made to be eaten with a strong cheddar cheese. The recipe is one of Darina Allen’s (Ballymaloe Cookery School) If you can find some of the cheeses from Neal’s Yard such as Lancashire Poacher or Isle of Mull they would be wonderful with the bread. Soda bread is terrific with soup and any leftover bread toasts up nicely and is delicious with marmalade or jam. Freezes well too!
Makes 1 Loaf
1 ¾ cups unbleached flour
1 ¾ cups wholewheat flour
3 Tbsp. toasted wheat bran
3 Tbsp. toasted wheat germ
2 Tbsp. old-fashioned oats
2 Tbsp. packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. (1 oz.) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 cups buttermilk (approximately)
Toast the wheat bran & wheat germ by placing on a small baking sheet & placing in the oven for approximately 8 – 10 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure even toasting and to prevent burning. Remove from the oven & cool to room temperature.
Increase the oven to 425 F.
Either spray with non-stick cooking spray or butter the inside of a 9x5x3” loaf pan, or line a rimmed baking sheet with baking parchment. Combine the first 8 ingredients; mix well. Add the butter and work in with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles fine meal. Stir in enough buttermilk to form a soft dough. Transfer dough to prepared loaf pan. in the more traditional by forming into a round & making 1/2″ deep slashes crisscross across the top of the loaf. Bake until the bread is dark brown & a tester inserted into the centre comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Turn the bread out onto a rack. Turn right side up & cool on the rack until room temperature.
If you would like to try some of the cheeses from Neal’s Yard, please see My Source List for Les Amis du Fromage.