Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Top O' Da Mornin' To Ya!

HappySt. Patrick's

Nothing like waking up early thing in the morning, combining pantry staples with abandon in a bowl, and mixing up a loaf or two of soda bread. I was up at 3:30 this morning, mixing away and baking 4 loaves, so believe me when i tell you it is easy to do! :o) Soda bread is the best--i don't know why i don't make it more during the year but a couple times. Maybe being from the "Land o' Plenty", we didn't have to worry of going hungry so bad as they did back in the time of the Great Famine, and so, we never needed a loaf. :o)
When it comes to soda bread, i am a minimalist. The traditional way of soda bread isn't too fancy, and can pretty well be whipped together straight from the pantry--heck, you could eyeball most of it. Although i have to admit, it's good with currants too...i've added those when trying to use up a little left here and there.
The best recipe i've found being is from http://www.sodabread.info/ . There you can even link to their Facebook page, if you're a tried and true Facebooker and all that.
And, since in me own home, i know i keep nothing of the buttermilk sort around every day, here are some substitutions for it:
1 cup of buttermilk is equal to:
1 cup of yoghurt or sour cream (people will say this is not traditional, but if it's what you have on hand, then it tis your only choice, eh?) OR
1 cup of milk + 1 TBSP lemon juice or cider vinegar (leave set to sour for at least 5 minutes) OR
1 cup of milk + 1 & 3/4 TBSP cream of tartar OR
a quarter cup of buttermilk powder + 1 cup of water (i, myself, prefer the latter.)
Now, you'll find that buttermilk powder packages "directions of use" may differ from the recipe above. I've tried the packages direction that require more than 1 cup of water, and i think it's just too runny.
Here's what ya do:

Sift 3 cups wheat flour (i like a whole wheat pastry flour like Bob's Red Mill) together with 1 cup of soft white flour (like a cake flour), 1tsp salt, and 1 & 1/2 tsp. baking soda. Finger in 2 oz. of butter till crumbed. Then add at least 14 oz of buttermilk SLOWLY, stirring it into your dry ingredients until you have a wet, sticky mass. Knead ever so slightly here (you don't want to defeat the purpose of the soda.) And place in a cake tin or on a cookie sheet and cover lightly with aluminum foil.
Bake for 30 minutes at 425 degrees F, then uncover and let brown for another 15 minutes.

Bread is done when it lends a swallow, hollow sound when thumped.
Let cool and enjoy with some strawberry jam or mint jelly (which is probably a No. Ireland thing, because mint jelly is a British favourite.)
Any leftovers can be fried in a pan of butter in the morning for a tasty breakfast of "brack".

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh. (The Blessings of St. Patrick upon you)


  1. I made Irish soda bread tonight, too! And we ate most of it! OH MY! It was my first time to make it and we devoured it! I love bread better than dessert! lol

  2. I have never tasted soda bread. Looks godd.


Thanks for taking the time to read my silly lil musings. Hope you have a wonderful day!