Small Batch Irish Soda Bread
It is a traditional recipe having started in a very poor country. Most of the best recipes are, I think. Simple ingredients put together in fabulously tasty ways!
The salt and the soda work together with the buttermilk to give a beautiful rise to this very simple bread.
The cross cut in the top was originally done to ward off evil spirits or the devil and protect the household. The Irish are very superstitious people. Its all a part of their wonderful charm.
Traditionally it would have been baked on a griddle or in an iron pot over a fire in an open hearth. One can imagine the warmth and love of family being deeply associated with this bread. It speaks to my heart.
I like to break it apart into quarters at the cross . . .
Here you can see the wonderful texture of it . . . . don’t be tempted to use too many raisins.
Today we enjoyed it warm with some jam and butter. It went down a real treat! Boy there are times when my heart longs for a nice big sweet mug of milky builder’s tea. Instead I had it with apple spice.
Author: Marie Rayner
Small Batch Irish Soda Bread
- 140g plain flour (1 cup)
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 1 TBS cold butter
- 35g raisins (1/4 cup)
- 1 large free range egg yolk
- 120ml buttermilk (1/2 cup)
- Preheat the oven to 220*C/425*F/ gas mark 7. Line a small baking tray with baking paper. Dust the baking paper with some flour. Set aside.
- Whisk the flour, sugar, salt and soda together in a bowl. Cut the cold butter into bits and drop it into the flour mixture. Rub it into the flour with a snapping motion using your fingertips. Mix until it resembles coarse bread crumbs. Stir in the raisins. Whisk together the egg yolk and the buttermilk. Add all at once to the dry mixture and quickly stir together with a fork, just until combined. Tip out onto a floured board and knead gently. (It may be quite sticky, just add a bit more flour if necessary.) Don’t over-knead. Shape into a 4 inch round and pop onto the flour dusted baking tray. Cut a deep cross into the top using a sharp knife without cutting all the way through. Only cut about half way down.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
If you think it is browning too quickly, cover lightly with foil.
This bread is tender and dense, with a lovely crisp crust. It will keep for several days, but you won’t have it around that long. Trust me on this! If you are looking for a full sized Irish Soda bread, you can find my recipe for a large plain loaf (sans raisins) here.
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