I have been inundated with requests – well, two – to put my carefully perfected recipe for Irish Soda Bread on the website. It is about the easiest form of bread that there is to bake, a loaf taking about one hour from start to finish and requiring no kneading and an absolute minimum of attention while baking. You simply mix the ingredients together carefully and press the resultant ball of firm dough into shape with your hands. Turn it around once in the oven and check that it's fully baked by striking the bottom with a wooden spoon and listening for a hollow sound before taking it out and leaving it to cool. If you are unsure turn the loaf upside down and continue baking for three or four minutes, then test again.
1. If as you mix the dough it seems to be getting a little soft, stop adding the buttermilk and egg mixture. It's better to have the dough a little stiff than a little soft, since soft dough will tend to slump in the oven and form a disc rather than a dome.
2. It is better to over-bake sightly than to under bake, as under-baking produces a moist layer above the bottom crust that spoils the texture of the loaf. That is the reason for the "wooden spoon" test. Slight over-baking just produces a slightly harder crust.
3. Avoid products sold as "baking soda" or "baking powder" which contain additional ingredients to the pure sodium bicarbonate and vary in their constituents from one manufacturer to another, hence giving unpredictable results.
You can use the link below to download the recipe sheet which will print out at A4 size.
Please let me know how you get on.
LINK TO DOWNLOAD THE RECIPE SHEET