A recipe for soda bread or ‘you live and learn’

What could I bake that involves fresh herbs?? That is the question I asked myself after Clara of tastesheriff introduced the new ichbacksmir topic for September.
I am always waiting for her to publish the new topic because it inspires me to bake things I would normally not think of…anyway: this months topic are herbs.
That was perfect for me as I could use the rest of the herbs in my garden.
I decided to bake soda bread. I ate it the first time when I was in Belfast and found it interesting that you don’t use yeast when baking it.

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Instead of the common yeast, bicarbonate of soda is used as a leavening agent. Furthermore buttermilk is used as it contains lactic acid which reacts with the baking soda and forms tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide – well, this is at least what wikipedia tells me and I have to say I find it very interesting.
I need to look more into those things, it is kind of like going backstage when you’re baking.

IMG_8027I used a very basic soda bread recipe and added a lot of fresh herbs – everything I could find in my garden: Rosemary, Parsley, Thyme, Chive, Sage and Oregano.

To make the soda bread you don’t need many ingredients:
– 370g wholemeal flour
– 130g plain flour
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
– 40g butter, melted
– 300-340ml Buttermilk
– fresh herbs, finely diced

  1. As always first of all preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Put flours, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl and mix together. Make a large hole in the centre of the mixture and pour in the melted butter and enough of the buttermilk to make a loose and sticky dough. Now add the herbs.
  3. Tip the dough onto a dusted work surface and knead it for a minute. The dough will be quite sticky. Shape the dough in a large ball with a taut, smooth top. Place the dough on a baking tray covered with baking paper. Flatten the dough a bit.
  4. Take a wooden spoon and cover the handle with flour. Hold it horizontally over the bread and bush it down until you can feel it almost reaches the tray at the bottom. Do that again so that you receive a cross pattern in the bread. This is typical for a soda bread and it helps the bread to bake evenly.
  5. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until the dough inside where the cross was made is not damp.
  6. And now: enjoy. It is best for soda bread to be eaten in one or two days.

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We enjoyed the bread with a cheese board, olives and other things we brought back from our Holiday in Mallorca. It was lovely!

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3 thoughts on “A recipe for soda bread or ‘you live and learn’

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