Basic Soda Bread
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Basic Soda Bread
  Soda    Bread    Basics  
Last updated 6/12/2012 1:07:24 AM. Recipe ID 33380. Report a problem with this recipe.
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      Title: Basic soda bread
 Categories: None
      Yield: 1 Cake
 
  3 1/2 c  Cake or All-purpose Flour
      1 ts Granulated Sugar
      1 ts Salt
      1 ts Bicarbonate of Soda
      8 oz Buttermilk; (up to 10)
 
  Two main factors have long affected the historic course of Irish bread
  making. The first is related to the climate, in that this land is
  greatly influenced by the gulf Stream to the extent that it is
  neither hot in the summer nor cold in the winter. Hence, the forty
  shades of green and the fact that traditional hard wheats utilized in
  bread baking do not grow well.
  
  At least in the last millennium, Ireland has been relatively
  plentiful in fuel for baking. Various medieval overlords of Ireland
  were never able to exercise tight control over the forest land so
  firewood could be freely poached. As a result, anyone with a
  hearthstone could afford to bake on a small scale.
  
  In Ireland plain soda bread is as likely to be served as a
  accompaniment to a main meal in order to soak up the gravy as it's
  likely to appear with the breakfast in a fry. Soda bread comes in
  white or brown varieties and is served as a cake or a farl, based on
  regional differences. We'll being including all the various Soda
  Bread variations during our All-Irish Cooking month at Recipe-a-Day!
  
  Sift the dry ingredients together several times in a large mixing
  bowl to make sure the bicarbonate of soda is evenly distributed.
  Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and a pour about
  three-quarters of the buttermilk into the center and start stirring.
  Continue to mix until you achieve a dough that is raggy and very
  soft. Add more buttermilk sparingly is you need it, as local
  conditions of humidity and temperature greatly impact the mixture.
  
  Blend quickly, but not too energetically until the whole mass of
  dough has become a floury, raggy consistency. Turn the contents of
  the bowl out onto a lightly floured surface and start to knead the
  bread.
  
  Your primary concern is speed in kneading. The chemical reaction of
  the bicarbonate of soda with the acidic buttermilk starts as soon as
  they meet. You need to get the Soda Bread into the oven while the
  reactions running high, so don't over knead. Spend about 30-seconds
  kneading the dough and shape the bread into a slightly domed circle
  about 6 to 8-inches in diameter. Place the dough on a baking sheet
  that has been lightly dusted with flour and use a sharp knife to cut
  across the circle making sure the cut goes about halfway down through
  the sides of the circle of dough so that it will flower properly.
  
  Bake for about 10-minutes in a 350-F to 400-F Degree pre-heated oven,
  then decrease the heat and continue to bake another 30 to 35-minutes
  until you can tap the loaf and a hallowish sound is produced.
  
  For a crunchy crust place the cooked cake on the rack to cool. For a
  softer crust, wrap the cake in a clean dishcloth and store as soon as
  itís out of the oven. Either way, the soda bread is wonderful sliced
  or split and served hot with sweet butter and the jelly or jam of
  your choice.
  




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Recipe ID 33380 (Apr 03, 2005)

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