To celebrate this summer solstice, dear friends, I made something very Celtic: soda bread! Now you may have already tried making your own bread, with yeast or with sourdough – but let me tell you a secret: it’s MUCH easier with soda. This old Irish recipe literally is child’s play, and it’s so tasty, too, wonderfully crisp on the outside and soft on the inside!
450g flour, 380ml buttermilk, 1 egg, 50g butter, 1tsp baking soda, 1tsp salt
Take the butter and the buttermilk out of the fridge well before you start baking, so that they are at room temperature.
Mix the flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl with a spoon, then add the butter (best cut it into slices, so that it’s easier to handle) and rub it in with your fingers until the mixture is crumbly. In a smaller bowl, whisk the buttermilk and the egg together, then add it to the flour mixture and knead with your hands until you’ve got a nice, smooth dough. Preheat the oven to 210°C.
Take the dough ball out onto a floured surface and knead well, then form a round flatted loaf and cut across it both ways with a knife.
Put on a baking tray laid out with baking foil and bake for 15 minutes; then turn down the heat to 180°C and bake for 30 more minutes. Believe it or not, your loaf will have almost doubled in size!
Let it cool down a bit, then cut it into slices; spread a bit of butter on it, that’s all it needs!
I must say that when I took my first loaf of home-made soda bread out of the oven today, dear friends, I really started wondering why the rest of the world uses yeast and sourdough and all that complicated stuff when this good old Irish recipe is so much easier. Once again, the Irish know better! Lep’s been particularly proud of his home country today, of course…
Enjoy baking and eating, dear friends, and celebrate the longest day of the year!