Traditional Soda bread... no raisins here!!

If any of you follow me on Instagram you're sure to have seen soda bread pictures popping up for weeks now. A simple recipe with 4 basic ingredients can hardly need practice I'm sure you asked yourselves but when you're trying to make it Gluten Free it sure does. Every time I tried a gluten free version I had to make a regular gluten laden one for comparison which J was only too happy to consume.

A traditional Irish Soda bread is made with flour, salt, baking soda and soured milk. According to the Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread the Oldest published Irish Soda Bread recipe to date was found in a Farmer's Magazine from November 1836.

There are thousands of recipes online claiming to be traditional Soda Bread recipes but take note peoples if the recipe contains raisins, sugar, shortening, zest's of any kind or honey it is not traditional. Our ancestors could barely afford the basics let alone those luxuries.

Today I'm going to share with you the two Soda Bread recipes I've been using. The first is a real basic soda bread recipe and the second is a not so traditional Gluten Free version.

Soda Bread
(not gluten free)
3 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
2 1/4 cups Buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 190C. Lightly grease and flour an 8inch round pan.
In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients. Use your hands to mix the dry ingredients raising the flour high over the bowl to aerate the mix.
Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk again mixing with your hands to form a sticky dough.
Place on floured surface and lightly knead. Over kneading causes the air and gas from the buttermilk and baking soda to escape.
Shape into a round flat shape and place in the prepared pan. Cut a cross in the top of the dough. It was thought by cutting a cross in the top of the bread you were letting the fairies escape.
Bake in a preheated oven for 35 minutes. Check for the hollow sound by tapping the bottom of the bread. If it's there the bread is done.
Remove from the tin and wrap the bread in a tea towel to keep the crust moist.
Allow to cool and you are ready to have a buttered slice with a nice cup of tea.

Now for the Gluten Free version I've adapted Bette Hagmans recipe. My first couple of attempts where quite flat and the texture and colour was not great but I've figured it out and think this adaptation is spot on. And it's the easiest gluten free bread to mix that I've come across in all my adventures.
Gluten Free Soda Bread
1 1/2 tsp Xanthum Gum
3 tsps Baking Powder
3/4 tsps Baking Soda
3/4 tsp Salt
1 1/2 tsp Egg Replacer
3 tbsp Brown Sugar
1/8 tsp Group Cardamom
1 cup Gluten Free Oats
1 1/2 cups Buttermilk
1 1/2 tbsp Flax meal
3/4 cup Water
2 tsp Molasses

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Lightly grease and flour an 8inch round pan.
Combine the dry ingredients. Omitting the oats until the end. Use your hands to mix the dry ingredients raising the flour high over the bowl to aerate the mix. Set aside.
Mix the flax meal with water. In a large bowl combine half the buttermilk, flax meal/water mix and the molasses.
Now add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and use your hands to combine. Add the remaining buttermilk as required. The dough should be thicker than cake batter. Sprinkle the remaining oats and mix lightly. These are to add texture to the top of your finished bread so do not need to be completely incorporated.
Place the dough in the prepared pan. and bake for about 50 minutes. Check for doneness buy tapping the bottom of the loaf for the elusive hollow sound. Allow to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before cooling on a wire rack.
Now in my trials I attempted to get the traditional look of this bread by creating the cross on top. The above recipe is wet so the cross doesn't stay while baking. I found that by omitting just a bit of buttermilk that the mix formed more of dough consistency to allow me cut a cross in the top but when it baked it was more dense and didn't rise to well.

So in the interest of a lighter, softer bread I recommend forgetting about the cross and just enjoying a nice untraditional gluten free soda bread round.
If you're interested in some more Irish recipes you should check out Donal Skehan's series Rediscovering the Irish kitchen where he visits Muckross Traditional Farms for lessons in old time Irish cooking.
If you try either of these recipes or have your own family recipe I'd love to see a picture tag me on Instagram or twitter and let's get a Soda Bread revolution going :-)
Michelle xxx
Sharing With
Baking Beauties for the Gluten Free and DIY Link Up
New Mrs. Adventures  Tasty Tuesday


Popular posts