Mystery House



Soda Bread


The week after Thanksgiving means a bit of food detoxing is in order.  (You know, before the real eating sets in around Christmas.)  Salads have been looking pretty darn seductive this week.

Dinner one night was a salad of chicken, romaine, grape tomatoes and a hint of bacon, with a drizzle of homemade buttermilk dressing.  Buttermilk dressing means buying buttermilk.  Which at my grocery means an entire quart, when I only needed a third of a cup.  What to do with the rest of it?

Several of my favorite cake recipes call for buttermilk, but cake would be defeating the point.  How about a nice, not-bad-for-you bread instead, to go with the salad?

Beard on Bread, originally published in 1973, is still in print.  While it doesn’t have the depth of information that some more contemporary bread baking books offer, there’s a reason it’s considered a classic:  the recipes are good.  Certain it would be a good place to start, I extricated it from my shelf and quickly found what I was looking for.

I’ve made Irish Soda Bread many times.  It’s a fast, easy sort of bread to make when you don’t have the time or inclination to mess with yeast and multiple risings.  I’d never tried a whole wheat version, however, and I just happened to have a bag of whole wheat flour on my shelf.

If you don’t have the book, you can click here and scroll down for the recipe and pictures.  Note that this blogger has modified the recipe.  The original calls for 1 Tbsp. of salt.  I’d suggest including it!  You’ll also find a more detailed explanation of the process in the book, so it’s worth a look.

This bread goes together quickly and I’m guessing it’s fairly foolproof.  I didn’t bother measuring the buttermilk–I simply poured it in until the batter looked right, the way I do with cornbread.  According to Mr. Beard, “right” means a soft dough that’s sort of similar to biscuit dough but which will still hold its shape.

Every soda bread I’ve ever made has taken longer to bake than the recipe alleges, and this one was no exception.  It’s heavy and dense in texture and will take awhile to get fully baked in the middle.  Worth waiting for, though.

Good flavor, nice texture and hey, it’s bread.  Homemade bread!  Most people don’t bake bread very often because it somehow seems like a Big Deal.  This recipe really isn’t a big deal–even someone who’s never made bread before could easily be successful with it–but it will make you feel as if you’ve done something very special.  There’s one small problem, though.  I still have buttermilk left.

 

Advertisements

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

Comments

  1. * olga says:

    mmmmbread, the staff of life. This looks like a recipe I actually would look forward to making. I remember when I was a kid and we would drive to Utah to visit friends there was a place called Soda Springs(I think) that my Mom would stop and buy soda bread from the Indians. I think the bread was eaten before we pulled out of the parking lot.

    Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
  2. * olga says:

    mmmmbread, the staff of life. This looks like a recipe I actually would look forward to making. I remember when I was a kid and we would drive to Utah to visit friends there was a place called Soda Springs(I think) that my Mom would stop and buy soda bread from the Indians. I think the bread was eaten before we pulled out of the parking lot.

    Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
  3. * olga says:

    mmmmbread, the staff of life. This looks like a recipe I actually would look forward to making. I remember when I was a kid and we would drive to Utah to visit friends there was a place called Soda Springs(I think) that my Mom would stop and buy soda bread from the Indians. I think the bread was eaten before we pulled out of the parking lot.

    Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
  4. * Guinifer says:

    Mmmmm, bread….warm and with butter?

    Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
  5. * Connie says:

    Make pancakes! I have a can of powdered buttermilk in my fridge that I just add water to – that way I don’t end up with the dreaded leftovers.

    Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
  6. * Connie says:

    Make pancakes! I have a can of powdered buttermilk in my fridge that I just add water to – that way I don’t end up with the dreaded leftovers.

    Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
  7. * Annie says:

    Could you make another loaf and freeze it?

    Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
  8. * Lisa says:

    I love Beard on Bread. Just lent it to my best friend, who wants to start baking some of her own.

    Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
  9. * Lisa says:

    I love Beard on Bread. Just lent it to my best friend, who wants to start baking some of her own.

    Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
  10. Oh it looks so yummy. Just have to make more bread … and freeze it!

    Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
  11. * kitkatknit says:

    I could tell we had 98% humidity last night when I had to bake my biscotti about twice as long to get it to the right amount of crunchiness. I love soda bread! I’ll be right over for a slice. ha ha

    Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
  12. * kitkatknit says:

    I could tell we had 98% humidity last night when I had to bake my biscotti about twice as long to get it to the right amount of crunchiness. I love soda bread! I’ll be right over for a slice. ha ha

    Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
  13. * cursingmama says:

    sounds like bisquits & pancakes to me….

    Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
  14. * bezzie says:

    Mmm!!!
    I usually “make” my buttermilk by adding a tablespoon to a cup of milk. I think that’s a substitution for it…I’ll have to try this recipe out!

    Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
  15. * bellamoden says:

    Mmmmbreadmmmmmmmm.
    Make more!

    Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
  16. * bellamoden says:

    Mmmmbreadmmmmmmmm.
    Make more!

    Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
  17. * bellamoden says:

    Mmmmbreadmmmmmmmm.
    Make more!

    Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
  18. * deb says:

    I’m scratching the monitor to check on the promised “scratch ‘n sniff” capabilities promised from the internet. Alas – must be in the next generation. Looks good; I’ll have to imagine the smell.

    Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
  19. * deb says:

    I’m scratching the monitor to check on the promised “scratch ‘n sniff” capabilities promised from the internet. Alas – must be in the next generation. Looks good; I’ll have to imagine the smell.

    Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
  20. * Ragan says:

    Oo….I make bread. Hahah. You make some of the greatest looking dishes over here, and I can honestly say none of my cooking ever looks restaurant ready (yours does). But…I do make homemade bread. Usually I make wheat bread with some flax seed thrown in. Mmmmm….

    Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
  21. * ali says:

    Your bread looks yummy! I buy buttermilk for pancakes and use it up making biscuits… when I’m in a fresh ground wheat phase; they come and go…
    I may have to try that bread, it’s making my mouth water. I think I need a snack…
    Happy knitting-
    ali

    Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
  22. * ali says:

    Your bread looks yummy! I buy buttermilk for pancakes and use it up making biscuits… when I’m in a fresh ground wheat phase; they come and go…
    I may have to try that bread, it’s making my mouth water. I think I need a snack…
    Happy knitting-
    ali

    Posted 9 years, 4 months ago


Comments are not allowed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: