As a child growing up in Wicklow we always enjoyed lovely traditional Irish soda bread. My earliest memories started while staying with my grandmother and getting a large soft boiled egg and soda bread for tea on a Saturday evening. My grandmother was a great lady who had thirteen children of her own and lots of grandchildren and she managed to feed us all by making lots of lovely soda bread & home made jam. My love for home made jams also started when I was very young when we all picked the berries for her and watched in awe as she made large pots of jam. Which I love to do still. My grandmothers favourites were gooseberry, damson and crab apple jelly. We used to top and tail the gooseberries for hours. I always think about my childhood with the smell of freshly baked bread and tasty home made jam. The flavours of home-made jam are just priceless.
Please enjoy my recipe and later in the year I will publish my jam recipes as the fruit comes into season.
Abhainn Ri Irish Soda Bread
450g / 16oz plain white flour
1/4 (qtr) teaspoon bread soda (bicarbonate of soda)
1/2 (half) teaspoon salt
425 ml (15 fl oz) Buttermilk
Preheat oven to 200C / 400F / Gas 6
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Gradually mix in the buttermilk to give a moist dough. Knead lightly, do not handle too much. Lightly flour a 2lb loaf tin or use non-stick baking paper to line the tin. Cut a line down the middle of the bread to prevent it cracking. Bake for 45 minutes. Tap the bottom of the bread, if it sounds hollow the bread is cooked. Sometimes bread may take an extra 5 – 10 minutes depending on the oven.
If you prefer brown (wheat) bread just use 1/2 white & 1/2 brown flour.