Irish Soda Whole Wheat Bread
Irish Soda bread is a variety of quick breads made with using Baking Soda as a leaving agent instead of the usual yeast used for breads. The interesting thing about Irish soda bread is that instead of the fact that it uses baking soda, the texture is very bread like instead of the cake like quick bread texture. The soda bread is common in my cuisines but it is the Irish variety that made it very popular and we all relate to instantly.
The Irish Whole Wheat Soda bread gets its texture from the reaction of lactic acid in buttermilk with baking powder and typically in Ireland they use the flour low in gluten to make this bread since we don't need the yeast and gluten to work together for the elasticity, sometimes even beer is used though I have never made it with beer (the beer bread in my list of things to make, somehow I just keep pushing it strangely)
It is my goto easy, quick yet fancy bread recipe. I mean just look at it, it looks like a beautiful Artisan loaf and needs to rising time, no kneading. Can you ask for anything else? You have to give it to Irish, they know how to make the yummiest of the food the easiest way.
They say that Irish Soda bread should be sliced very thin but in my house unfortunately people don't like uber thin bread slices, so I slice them like normal bread. I love it slightly toasted with butter, the Irish Soda whole wheat bread has a velvety texture that lends itself beautifully to toasting. Sometimes I also add raisins to it, specially when I am sure that I will eat it with sweet stuff.
Original Recipe Credit : Beard on Bread by James Beard
Irish Whole Wheat Soda Bread
- Pre heat the oven to 190C
- Combine all the dry ingredients and mix well so that the baking powder and baking soda are well distributed through the dough.
- Add enough buttermilk (start with 1.5 cups and use till 2 cups if needed) to make a dough which is soft but yet holds shape.
- Knead the dough on the floured counter for 2-3 minutes until it is smooth and doesn't have large dough lumps. This doesn't need gluten formation so there is no need to knead a lot
- Shape the dough into two rounds (or if you prefer one large). Place the rounds on a well greased cookie sheet or a Silpat (I absolutely adore this product for baking, breads or cookies. This is one of the must have items in your kitchen if you bake). Using a sharp kitchen knife or a blade, mark cuts on top of the bread. Either mark three cuts or a cross in the middle, this is made so that the air can escape while the bread is baking
- Place the cookie sheet/silpat in the middle rack of the oven and bake till 25-35 minutes till the loaf is browned and a tap at the bottom sounds hollow. If you are baking in one large loaf it might take up to 45 minutes or so to bake.
- Let it cool completely before slicing. Serve toasted or sliced with jam, pesto or soups.