We’re big bread fans in our Simply Homemade home. In fact Jack, our middle child, would quite happily live on bread alone, that’s a whole other post!
I buy very little bread, a couple of slice pans to lie in the freezer for emergency situations. I’ve become much less of a fan of the sliced pan since we started making our own bread some years back, while it’s ok once in a while, if we’re stuck, I really do prefer to avoid it if we can. A basic white loaf has 4 ingredients, flour, yeast, salt, water, I just counted 11 on a sliced pan in the freezer, most of which I cannot pronounce nor, if I’m honest, do I know what they are. I prefer to know what we are eating; what I am feeding my children is important to me
While it is extremely therapeutic to spend a while kneading what will turn into a delicious fluffy loaf, it’s hard to beat the satisfaction in turning out a wonderful warm loaf in 45 minutes, that loaf being of course, soda bread. Irish Soda bread has been around for centuries. I’m sure many of us can recall our mothers & grandmothers taking a loaf from the oven, to smother with butter & jam for a quick tea.
When making the traditional brown, I always find there is something quite nostalgic about the aroma of the wholemeal flour and the buttermilk combined. My mother always made our brown bread, it’s a smell that evokes many happy memories for me. I hope my own children will recall similar memories, our little fairy is already well versed in the simplicity of the traditional loaf!
I follow the same recipe all the time, quantity wise, though I may use all white flour, or half rye flour. Sometimes I add sunflower and chia seeds or a handful of jumbo oats. The result is always the same; a delicious loaf that is devoured in one sitting!
225g Wholemeal flour
225g Plain flour
1 Tsp Bread Soda
1 Tsp Salt
350 ml Buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 220C and lightly flour a baking tray.
Pour in the buttermilk, the lightly bring it all together with a wooden spoon.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and lightly kneading it, bring the dough into a round loaf shape.
Transfer it to the baking tray and using a sharp knife, place the obligatory cross shape on top, don’t worry of you forget, nobody will haunt you!
Place your bread in the oven and after 10 minutes reduce the temperature to 200C for a further 30 minutes.
After this time check your loaf, it should sound hollow when you tap the underside of it.
Leave to cool on a wire rack, though if you are tempted to cut a slice and slather with good Irish butter, please do so, you won’t be disappointed!
Mr Simply Homemade loves sausages on his soda bread, Jack loves jam, Abbie just likes butter on hers & Harry devours his with slices of Wexford Cheddar, but feel free to be much more adventurous, you can do anything with soda bread!