Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Irish Soda Bread


* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 tablespoon baking powder
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* ⅛ cup white sugar
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 egg, lightly beaten
* 2 cups buttermilk
* ¼ cup butter, melted


1. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).
2. Grease and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
4. Blend egg and buttermilk together, and add all at once to the flour mixture.
5. Mix until just moistened. Too much mixing will make it tough.
6. Stir in butter; pour into prepared pan.
7. Bake for 65-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the bread comes out clean. The loaf should sound hollow if you tap the base.
8. Cool on a wire rack.
9. Wrap in tea-towel or foil several hours or overnight for best flavor.

Tips, Notes, and Variations

* May serve toasted and buttered.
* Soda bread rises as a result of acid being mixed with baking soda. The acid is commonly in the form of vinegar, lemon juice, or buttermilk. A tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar in one cup of milk can be substituted for each cup of buttermilk.
* For best results, bake it at 375°F (190°C), for about 50 minutes, on a preheated baking stone.


Conventional bread, containing live yeast, leavens (rises) as the micro-organisms make carbon dioxide gas as a by-product of their metabolism. Similarly, soda bread utilizes the reaction between baking soda and vinegar, or some other acid, to make the bread rise through the production of carbon dioxide. This recipe uses buttermilk, or optionally a combination of milk and vinegar, but other recipes use sour cream.


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