Soda Bread revisited…with humility.

Okay, after sort of dissing soda bread the other day, I need to go back and do a little retracting.

I did a bit of internet research on it yesterday to figure out what “real” soda bread actually was–and it was sort of surprising.

Real Irish Soda Bread does not have eggs.  It does not have butter cut into the flour.  It does not even have raisins. (With raisins it’s called “Spotted Dog.”) It absolutely doesn’t have yeast. It has only four ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk.  (Here’s a really good page with a lot of info.)

Last night for St. Paddy’s Day dinner I made soda bread–or, actually, Spotted Dog–for the family as sort of a side dish since I knew the kids would eat it. This is what I did:

  • In a large bowl, mix 1 cup wheat flour, 1 cup white flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, and about 2/3 cup currants. (Okay, and 2 tbs sugar.)
  • Make a well in the center and pour in 2/3 cup yogurt (I didn’t have buttermilk, but I made yogurt the other day and it was much runnier than it was supposed to be, so we’ll be drinking a lot of smoothies…)
  • Mix well, just till it forms a soft dough. Press dough into a round or square cake pan.
  • Bake at 375 for half an hour or so or until golden brown on top

This was really good!  And look at the ingredients–there is almost nothing even remotely unhealthy in there, let alone processed…no wonder the Irish survived on this stuff!  I’ll be making this again and again…


Posted on March 18, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Great post, and the link to the Euro cooking site is also cool. I see you substituted yogurt for buttermilk – is this because of something you did with the yogurt, or is this always a possible substitution? is the ration 1::1?

  2. greenmomintheburbs

    Oh! Yeah, I guess I was typing too fast and skipped that sentence…I didn’t have any buttermilk, and yes, yogurt is an appropriate 1:1 substitution for buttermilk. Has to do with the whole acid thing. (You can also substitute milk with a little slug of vinegar for buttermilk…I just happen to have all this runny yogurt in the fridge!)

    So, whaddya think? Who knew that “real” soda bread is (or can be) actually fat free?

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