Thursday, March 15, 2012
This is an easy delicious rustic bread that doesn't need rising or double kneading. Hot fresh bread in a jiffy.
Here's a bit of history on Irish Soda Bread:
In the early and mid 1800’s, rural Ireland did not have a strong tradition of yeast bread making. Baking was done in the home and, in addition to having limited supplies, time was often at a premium. The use of baking soda as a leavening agent was quick, effective and it produced a much more consistent result than yeast did. It caught on quickly and made a staple of the Irish diet until commercial bread production began in earnest, though it is still popular in Ireland and many other parts of the world.
The original soda breads contained nothing more than flour, buttermilk, baking soda and salt. The buttermilk was leftover from the butter making process and the bread was almost always served with freshly churned butter. Today, the breads often contain additional ingredients, like sugar, butter, currants or caraway seeds to enhance the flavor of the bread. Soda bread is heartier than most yeast breads and pairs very well with soups, stews and meat dishes. It also makes outstanding toast.
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
5 tablespoons of butter
2 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup currants
In a bowl blend together the flour, salt, sugar and baking soda.
Using a pastry cutter cut in the butter until it is incorporated into the dry mixture.
Add the egg (slightly beaten) and buttermilk and mix well until a sticky dough forms. Fold in currants.
Spoon out onto a lightly floured board, sprinkle a little flour over the top of it and knead it twice. Yes, I said ONLY twice.
Than, shape into a ball, cut an X across the top of the loaf and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour. This bread will LOOK done way before it is. Bake even longer if necessary
if when tapping on the loaf it doesn't sound completely hollow.