Friday, March 08, 2019

Easy Bread Making - A First Attempt at Soda Bread

The cookery writer Elizabeth David said that every cook should know how to make soda bread. And now I do. I watched James Martin make it on Saturday Kitchen last week and have been itching to bake some ever since. It is so quick and easy - mixed and kneaded in a few minutes and no need to prove the dough. A loaf of bread warm from the oven in 45 minutes. Most recipes seem to include wholemeal flour but James Martin used brown flour, so that's what I did. Not bad for a first attempt. I should have kneaded it for a little longer and cut the traditional cross deeper since it disappeared during the baking. But nevertheless, it tastes great.Why not give it a go? Lots of recipes online. Try these James Martin
BBC Food
175 g brown self-raising flour
175 g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
284 ml carton buttermilk plus milk to make the liquid up to 300 ml

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees fan.
Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl Mix in the buttermilk and draw the mixture together
 Add a tad of milk if the mixture seems too dry ( but it must not be wet)
 Place on a floured surface and quickly knead
 Shape into two round loaves
Place on a floured baking tray and slash the top
Cook for  18-20 minutes

  • Ensure that the baking tray is adequately covered with flour or the dough has a tendency to stick to the tray
  • Half a teaspoon of salt was not quite enough for my taste. I will add a little more next time
  • Make a deep slash, or it will virtually disappear as the dough rises. 
  • Some flours absorb more liquid than others.