I recently went to Dublin and tried soda bread for the first time and it tasted amazing! Unlike most types bread this bread uses bicarbonate soda instead of yeast as the rising agent. This works due to a chemical reaction involving the acidic buttermilk and the alkaline bicarbonate soda. The bicarbonate soda breaks down into carbon dioxide, which causes the bread to rise. So here is my take on a classic Irish Soda Bread recipe.
400g Plain Flour
2tsp Bicarbonate Soda
3tbsp Chopped Rosemary
6 x Rashers of Streaky Bacon (chopped)
80g Parmesan Cheese (grated)
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4, then in a large mixing bowl add the plain flour, bicarbonate soda, salt, chopped rosemary, grated parmesan cheese and chopped streaky bacon. Mix all of the ingredients together.
2. Next, add the buttermilk and mix with a wooden spoon until the ingredients start to form into a dough.
3. Then place the dough onto a work surface and knead the dough until it becomes smoother.
4. Place the dough onto a lined baking tray; flatten the dough until the dough is around 1 ½ inches thick.
5. With a large knife press down on the dough to make a cross.
6. Bake the bread for 40-45 minutes. To test if the bread is baked, turn the bread upside down and tap the bottom. If the bread sounds hollow the bread is cooked.
7. Leave the bead to cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before cutting the bread.
Here are some of my other bread recipes you may like to try and bake!
If you can not find buttermilk, you can make your own by mixing 200ml of milk with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or white wine vinegar. After 30 minutes the milk will start to thicken up slightly.