Prep 10 mins
Cook 35 mins
A basic, traditional soda bread with two untraditional variations. You can mix this up in the time it takes the oven to preheat. Adapted from The Ballymaloe Bread Book.
- 3 2⁄3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 3⁄4 cups buttermilk
Herb bread additions
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh sage, chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh chives, chopped
Rosemary and sun-dried tomato additions
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Sift the flour, baking soda and salt together into a mixing bowl.
- Make a well in the center.
- Pour in most of the buttermilk.
- Stir just until all ingredients are incorporated. The dough should be soft but not sticky. Add the remaining buttermilk if it's too dry.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Roll it around a little to make it neater. Don't knead.
- Pat dough into a round loaf about 2" high.
- Place on a lightly floured baking sheet.
- Using a sharp knife, cut a deep cross in the center of the dough.
- Irish folklore insists that you must now prick each section of the dough with your knife, to let the Little People out (what they're doing in your bread in the first place, I can't imagine).
- Bake 10 minutes.
- Reduce heat to 400°F and bake until loaf is browned and sounds hollow when tapped, about 25 minutes more.
- For the variations, stir in the additional ingredients before adding the buttermilk.