White Soda Bread with Demonstration Video with Darina Allen
Soda bread only takes 2 or 3 minutes to make and 30 - 40 minutes to bake. It's also great with sultanas, chocolate, olives, sun dried tomatoes or caramelized onions added, so the possibilities are endless for the humble soda bread.
White Soda Bread and Scones
Soda bread only takes 2 or 3 minutes to make and 30 - 40 minutes to bake. It is certainly another of my 'great convertibles'. We have had the greatest fun experimenting with different variations and uses. It's also great with olives, sun dried tomatoes or caramelized onions added, so the possibilities are endless for the hitherto humble soda bread.
1lb (450g/4 cups) white flour, preferably unbleached
1 level teaspoon/1/2 American teaspoon salt
1 level teaspoon/1/2 American teaspoon breadsoda
sour milk or buttermilk to mix - 12-14fl oz (350-400ml/1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups) approx.
First fully preheat your oven to 230ºC / 450ºF / Gas Mark 8.
Sieve the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre. Pour most of the milk in at once. Using one hand, mix in the flour from the sides of the bowl, adding more milk if necessary. The dough should be softish, not too wet and sticky. When it all comes together, turn it out onto a well floured worked surface. WASH AND DRY YOUR HANDS. Tidy it up and flip over gently. Pat the dough into a round about 1 1/2 inches (4cm) deep and cut a cross on it to let the fairies out! Let the cuts go over the sides of the bread to make sure of this. Bake in a hot oven, 230ºC / 450ºF / Gas Mark 8 for 15 minutes, then turn down the oven to 200ºC / 400ºF / Gas Mark 6 for 30 minutes or until cooked. If you are in doubt, tap the bottom of the bread: if it is cooked it will sound hollow.
Cheddar Cheese Soda Bread
Egg wash the surface of the bread, mark into 6-8 wedges. Scatter with 4oz (110g) grated cheddar cheese and bake as above.
White Soda Scones
Make the dough as above but flatten the dough into a round 1 inch (2.5cm) deep approx. Cut into scones. Cook for 20 minutes approx. in a hot oven (see above).
White Soda Bread with Herbs
Add 2 tablespoons (2 1/2 American tablespoons) of freshly chopped herbs eg. rosemary or sage, thyme, chives, parsley, lemon balm to the dry ingredients and continue as above. Shape into a loaf or scones and bake as for soda bread.
Cheddar Cheese Scones or Herb and Cheese Scones
4oz (110g/1 cup) grated mature Cheddar cheese
Make the White Soda bread or herb dough. Stamp into scones, brush the top of each one with egg wash and then dip into grated cheddar cheese, bake as for soda scones, or use to cover the top of a casserole or stew.
Cheddar Cheese and Thyme Leaf Scones
Substitute thyme leaves for mixed herbs in above recipe.
Rosemary and Olive Scones
Add 1 1/2 tablespoons (1 1/2 American tablespoons + 1 1/2 teaspoons) of chopped fresh rosemary and 2 tablespoons (2 1/2 American tablespoons) roughly chopped stoned black olives to the dry ingredients and proceed as in the master recipe.
Rosemary and Sundried Tomatoes
Add 1-2 tablespoons (1 - 2 American tablespoons + 1-2 teaspoons) of chopped rosemary, 2 tablespoons (2 1/2 American tablespoons) of chopped sundried tomatoes to the flour and continue as in the basic recipe. Form into a loaf of bread or scones.
Make a white soda bread dough with or without herbs. Flatten into a 1 inch (2 1/2 cm) square. Dot the top with whole olives. Brush generously with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, cut into square scones and bake as above.
Rosemary and Raisin
Add 3oz (75g) raisins and 2 tablespoons (2 1/2 American tablespoons) chopped rosemary to the basic recipe.
Curry and Sultana Bread
Add 1-2 teaspoons of curry powder and 3oz (75g) sultanas to the basic recipe.
American Emigrants Soda Bread
Add 3oz (75g) sultanas and 2 teaspoons caraway seeds, 1 tablespoon (1 American tablespoon + 1 teaspoon) of sugar and 1 beaten egg to the above recipe. Reduce the buttermilk by 2fl oz (50ml/1/4 cup).
Seeded Tear and Share Scones
Make the dough as above. Brush a 9” (23cm) round tin with sunflower oil. . Pat the dough into a round about 1 1/2 inches (4cm) deep and cut a cross into 8. Put into the tin and brush the top of the scones with a selection of sesame, poppy, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Bake in the oven as above. When cooked remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack. The bread can then be torn apart and shared!