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Irish Soda Bread (Using Coarse Brown Irish Soda Bread Flour)

 BUY in ADVANCE - one 250/284ml Tub of Buttermilk (divided as set out below !)
 Preheat the oven to Bread-Baking or 200C/400F/Gas 6
 Ensure the Middle shelf in the oven is in position
 Pinhead Oats and/or WheatGerm MAY be omitted, but they taste absolutely great, so try to include them

Ingredients and Combining:

WARM: 1 tbsp Fowlers Black Treacle - combine this with:
• 42g / 1½oz Melted Butter – then add
• 125-140ml / 4½-5oz [HALF] the Buttermilk
- ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
• 1 Egg (Large, Beaten well with a Fork) – then ADD to it:
• 125-140ml / 4½-5oz [HALF] the Buttermilk - Beat a little to combine
- ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DRY Ingredients:

• 65g / 2¼oz Pinhead Oats
• 285g / 10oz Plain White flour [NB: 12¼oz if no Oats or WheatGerm]
• 35g / 1¼oz Wheat-germ
• 115g / 4oz Irish (or any other) Coarse Brown flour [NB: 5¼oz if no Oats or WheatGerm]
• 1½ rounded tsp Molasses or Dark Muscovado Sugar
• 1½ rounded tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
• 1½ rounded tsp Salt

Preparation method: Have EXTRA Coarse Brown flour ready - for Dusting

o Place all the DRY Ingredients (as above) into a large Bowl and stir together

o Make a large hole in the centre of the DRY mixture:
o Stir in the melted Butter & Treacle/Buttermilk mixture, together with the Beaten Egg / Buttermilk mixture. Combine well, but do not over-stir, to form a loose ‘sticky’ dough

o ONLY if needed - add extra Milk (at Room Temperature)
Do not make the mixture too wet, or the Loaf will be too flat ! Add a little Coarse flour if needed

o Tip the sticky dough onto a lightly floured work surface
o Knead for one minute, then shape into a large ball with a taut, smooth top
o Place the dough on a baking tray, and dust very generously with the Coarse Irish or other Flour
o To make a Traditional cross in the Loaf, take a wooden spoon, dust the whole handle with Flour to avoid ‘sticking’, then - holding it horizontally over the bread, push it down until almost touching the baking tray at the bottom. Repeat with a line at right angles to this

o Dust with lots of Coarse flour then bake in the oven for 30–40 minutes [Test at 30/35 minutes] or until the bread has risen nicely, is well browned, and the dough inside where the cross was made is not damp.

Gently break the Quarters apart, and leave to cool a little. Serve fresh with butter and jam

This Bread freezes very well, and is best immediately after baking – but leftovers are still very good next day, and also make excellent toast !