I was inspired by Heather who was aided and abetted by Auntie Craes to make Irish Soda Bread the other day. Heather and Bob came over for dinner a while back (around St. Paddy’s Day) and brought with them a loaf of bread from Auntie Craes.
Heather regularly has tea biscuits made with this same recipe for a morning snack and couldn’t resist a full loaf when opportunity knocked.
We enjoyed the loaf they brought so much that I decided to make some for us and so cobbled together a recipe after reading about twenty variants on the same thing. I am now kicking myself for not having figured out this recipe years ago. It is incredibly easy. Behold
- 4 cups flour
- 2 cups milk**
- 2 tbsp lemon juice **
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
** can substitute 2 cups of buttermilk for both of these ingredients, if you have any on hand. I never do.
- add lemon juice to milk. Leave for to sour for ten minutes while you do the next few steps.
- preheat oven to 375F
- grease bread pan (loaf) or cookie sheet (rounded loaf or buns), depending on what kind of loaf/buns you’re making
- measure flour, salt and baking soda into bowl.
- when ten minutes have elapsed (for the souring milk, you remember), dump milk (it’ll look gross) into bowl with dry ingredients
- mix until it’s sort of holding together
- plop onto table and knead about a dozen times, until smooth. Don’t overdo it.
- Shape into rounded loaf (don’t forget to pinch seam together underneath), loaf (ditto) or roll/flatten out to about an inch thick and cut circles with a cutter or glass. Place loaf on/in appropriate pan. Place tea biscuits on sheet so that they’re barely touching.
- Slash top of loaf with a knife to allow for expansion. Be bold. Slash deep. Trust me.
- Stuff in over. Loaf will be done in about 45 minutes. Tea biscuits take about 20 min or so. Check loaf for done-ness by picking it up (use oven mitt!!!) and thwacking it on its bottom. If it sounds hollow, it’s done.
- Allow to at least mostly cool before cutting. Cutting too soon causes it to crumble and then dry out. Not appetising. Tea biscuits can be cut at once and are stellar with homemade jam.
I’d show you a picture, but the loaves keep vanishing…