With the Protein Power segment finished I decided to do a Bread Basket segment where I will be introducing to you various kinds of bread accompanied with their short history. These breads are easy to prepare using readily available ingredients and way too easy to gobble down. So lets get going …
With a history spanning of more than two centuries Irish Soda Bread entered the domestic Irish kitchens to essentially make use of baking soda as a leavening agent instead of yeast. Using just about four ingredients, this bread initially became popular due to its no-fuss preparation and brilliant baking results. Baked in loaves and mounds this bread soon gained popularity across the world.
The moment the solids are combined with the liquids, the baking soda and powder start reacting with the liquid, buttermilk in this case. Hence you are often asked not to over mix the dough as that might hinder the raising process of the bread whilst baking. And don’t worry if the bread is clumpy or dumpy in certain areas, they all settle down during baking.
Some like to dress this bread further by adding chunks of dried fruit in it, like raisins and cranberries, however I kept this bread plain and simple. Buttermilk lends it a tangy flavor which is most enjoyed with a pat of butter or a generous drizzle of honey. The texture of this bread can be mistaken for an aerated cake since most of the ingredients are the same – however it is the varying amounts of ingredients that really set this apart.
The initial recipe called for four cups of flour, however I used only three cups of flour and one of whole-wheat flour, which gave it the faint tinge of brown color and a tad bit of denser texture. As for buttermilk I used milk and vinegar, which was sitting on the counter for twenty minutes.