Herby Irish Soda Bread

I do go on about no-knead bread and the importance of a long prove quite a bit, however, sometimes you need bread and that quick! I am amazed by the concept of the Irish Soda Bread, as it defeats everything I know about bread making, yet it still works. The bread is made using baking soda, rather than yeast. Its consistency can, therefore, be similar to a scone. Remember not to get baking soda confused with baking powder. Baking soda, or bicarb, needs acid to work properly, whereas baking powder is bicarb already mixed with acid. That is why soda bread calls for buttermilk, which is cultured. If this all gets a bit confusing, just follow the recipe and remember; there’s a difference between baking powder and baking soda!

Ingredients for one loaf

  • 450ml milk
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 600g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp dried herbs (I used rosemary, chives and parsley)
  • 1 tbsp salt

Method

  1. Heat your oven to 225°C.
  2. Make buttermilk, adding lemon juice to the milk.
  3. Mix all the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk, use a wooden spatula and stir until everything is combined.
  4. Using extra flour, work the dough with your hands and shape it into a ball.
  5. Place the dough on a baking tray covered in baking paper and cut a cross on top.
  6. Bake the bread in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes.

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