Recipe for a St. Patrick’s Day Feast: Irish Soda Bread

By Chef Diane Stopford SDNN
Friday, March 12, 2010

This is part two of four recipes for a St. Patrick’s Day feast. Check out a traditional Irish Coffee recipe,  Beef in Guinness, Colcannon, and few extra written recipes.

If there is one taste and smell that immediately reminds me of home, it is soda bread.

There was always a loaf of brown soda bread or simply ‘brown bread’ on the breakfast table. White fruit soda bread was more of an afternoon snack spread with lots of butter.

Soda bread is one of the simplest breads to make as it requires no yeast, proving or kneading. It is cheap to make and can be prepared in a matter of minutes.

Day old bread is great toasted with lots of melting butter and jam. The coarse Irish whole meal flour used in brown bread can be difficult to source, but the everyday ingredients in this white soda bread recipe are easy to find.

Also see St. Patrick’s Day in San Diego 2010 | Other Chef Diane videos

Ingredients

• 3 1/2 cup all purpose flour

San Diego: (Photo by Diane Stopford)

(Photo by Diane Stopford)

• 1 tsp baking soda

• Pinch of salt

• 2 tbsp sugar

• 1 ¾ cups buttermilk

• ¼ cup raisins (optional)

Method

Preheat oven to 450˚F

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl.

San Diego: (Photo by Diane Stopford)

(Photo by Diane Stopford)

Slowly add the buttermilk and mix together to form a ball.

Turn out onto a floured board and form into a smooth round. Make a cross in the dough by lightly cutting across the dough in both directions. This is said to ‘let the fairies out’ but really just aids in an even cooking of the bread and makes it easier to cook.

Place in the oven at 450˚F for 15 minutes then reduce the temperature to 400˚F for 30 minutes.

Remove the bread from the oven, turn it over and tap the bread on the bottom. It will sound hollow when cooked. Place on a rack to cool.

Cut into slices and serve with butter and jam.

Diane Stopford is a food consultant and personal chef.

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