Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Brown Irish soda bread - the definitive version

Trial and error

It took me six attempts at making brown bread to figure out how to get it exactly right. I wanted chewy, dark, malty, deliciousness, and to begin with I got dry and hard as a bullet. I tried using all manner of powders and sodas, I tried all wholemeal, half wholemeal, several different types of flour, I overcooked it, undercooked it, and cooked it so that it fused itself to the baking parchment that I inadvisably used to line the tin. And after all that, this one, which takes one bowl and 20 seconds to make is the best brown bread...possibly ever. Now if only my house mates would stop eating it before its even cool!!

My main bit of wisdom to impart is this: use buttermilk. Nothing else makes it taste even nearly as good.

3/4 lb of coarse wholemeal flour
1/4 lb plain white flour
1 heaped teaspoon bread soda
1 level teaspoon salt
1 level teaspoon sugar
450ml buttermilk

in a bowl combine flours, breadsoda, salt and sugar in a bowl. Add buttermilk and stir to a sloppy consistency. Pour this mixture into a well greased 1lb loaf tin. Bake in a preheated oven at gas 8/about 230 Celsius for 50 min. Remove from oven and take out of tin. Tap the bottom of the loaf. It should sound hollow. At this point I usually put it back in the loaf tin upside down and return it to the oven for another 10 mins to crisp up the bottom.

Apologies for not blogging for AGES! My cooking mojo is hiding under a rock and I dont have a decent camera. I will be back soon though. XxLola


ktpi said...

i'm quite bad when it comes to soda bread, i can never believe it should cook for so long! i get all worrysome...

could you use the same ratio of ingredients to make white soda but replacing the flour?

loganberry jam vs all other jams - DEBATE!

thanks miss booth!

L said...

Hi kate! I adapted the recipe from Avoca's recipe for white soda bread, which is pretty much the exact same but using plain white flour, so yes, go for it I say. Also that version apparently (though I've never made it) only takes 30 - 40 mins... winner! Dont take it out too early or it is all hideous and gooey in the middle. Yuk.

I have never had loganberry jam, forshame!. Must try it now!

Lu said...

mmm I ate this over in Sarahs house - twas super yummy. Really is a definitive recipe, ate it with cheese and butter and homemade chilli jam - yum yum

Aoife Mc said...

Look lovely Rayne! I'm also trying to get my own brown bread perfect. I've been using Darina's brown bread for beginners recipe and even though I never change any of the ingredients, it always comes out a bit different! Baking is so weird :)

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Very delicious, thanks.

Lu said...

Hi Rental - glad you liked it!

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