The biggest challenge I found in making Irish soda bread with all bulk solid items and plastic free-liquid items, was the butter milk. I didn’t actually know what buttermilk was until about a year ago. Just butter and milk right? No. Not at all.
When I found out, it was a little disturbing, but only until I considered what yogurt actually is. And cheese So buttermilk really isn’t that weird, and it’s SO EASY TO MAKE.
- 2 tbspn freshly squeezed lemon juice OR white vinegar
- 2 cups of milk of choice
Mix together, let it sit for about 5 minutes until it curdles (Yum!) and then it’s good to go.
For the Irish Soda Bread:
Pre-heat oven to 425F (220C, Gas Mark 7)
- 4 cups flour.
- 1 tbsp sugar.
- 1 tspn salt.
- 1 tspn baking soda.
- 4 tbsp butter, chopped into small cubes (buy in bulk, wrapped in wax, whenever possible!)
- 1 cup of raisins.
- 1 large egg, beaten.
- 1 and 3/4 cups buttermilk.
1. Mix flour, sugar, salt, baking soda together.
2. Work the butter pieces into the flour mixture until it looks like coarse meal.
3. Mix in raisins.
4 Make a well in the center of the dough and fill it with your homemade buttermilk and beaten egg.
5. Mix with a wooden spoon or just get in there with your flour-dusted hands and knead the dough until it forms a ball. Don’t worry if it looks chunky, it is suppose to look like a giant southern biscuit, essentially. And over-kneading it will make the dough tough and yucky.
6. To make it truly Irish, score an X across the ball of dough with a sharp knife, and say the words “Ah fuckin’ hell” in your best Irish accent. Then drink a Guinness. This is what makes the bread delicious.
Bake for 35-45 minutes on a lightly greased baking sheet. To test to see if the bread is done, stick a metal skewer or thin knife into the center of the bread, if it comes out clean of dough/batter, it’s done! Serve warm.
For a vegan version of this recipe, check out the Happy Herbivore