One of the nicest memories I have from my Granny’s kitchen is the smell of warm Irish Soda bread and apple pies and the almost-too-hot-heat of the Aga. One of my worst is fresh (I mean fresh), warm milk from a bucket, from a cow who had barely made it out of the milking parlour!
Anyhoo, sticking with the nice stuff, we’ve been trying out a load of Irish Soda Bread recipes this Summer and our favourite is from The River Cottage Family Cook Book. We love ‘yeasty’ breads but sometimes you can’t beat the convenience of one you don’t have to wait around for! The loaf almost tastes like a massive scone – with a really lovely crusty outside and a light, melty inside. It takes about 3 minutes to make, doesn’t need proving and is ready to eat in about 30 minutes.
I’m drooling. Here’s the recipe….
Irish Soda Bread (makes one loaf)
*the recipe is written in cups buit we’ve worked out the weights that work for us!
A little olive oil or butter – to grease the baking tray
470g Plain white flour
1 level teaspoon salt
1 level teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons soft brown sugar
500g natural yoghurt (either plain or Greek) (or a large cup of Buttermilk)
1. Preheat oven to 230C.
2. Grease a baking sheet fairly generously with olive oil or butter.
3. Sift the flour, salt and baking soda into a large mixing bowl and add the sugar.
4. Add the yoghurt / buttermilk and mix fairly gently until the mixture just comes together.
you can mix this by hand or with a mixer with a dough hook but be careful not to over-mix as it comes together very quickly;
if the mixture looks very ‘wet’ add more a bit more flour so it resembles a scone mix.
5. Tip the mixed dough out onto a floured work surface and shape it into a circular loaf. Place on the baking sheet and with a bread knife, quickly cut a deep cross into the loaf, to allow for expansion in the oven.
6. Place in the over and cook at 230C for 12 minutes. Lower to 205C and cook for a further 18 to 20 minutes. If there is a hollow sound when you tap the bottom the loaf is ready. If not give it a few more minutes but don;t allow it to dry out. Sometimes when I need to give it extra time, I turn the loaf over so the top doesn’t brown anymore.