I had a hankering for some fresh homemade soda bread. The thing with soda bread is you need buttermilk and as such its not a bread that you can (unless you're in the buttermilk business) make just in the moment without schlepping out to the shops, or can you (ha) ....
I do have a buttermilk hack , you'd never know and it really does work. You just need Milk and Lemon Juice. Buttermilk is not really milk its a sour liquid that is left over after making butter (ooh get me) and a tablespoon of lemon juice (plus a dash for good luck - don't ask!!) into half a pint of milk and let it sit for half an hour and e voila you have a buttermilk equivalent and at a fraction of the cost as well.
I know soda bread is not loved by everyone but we do and for me it also evokes such happy childhood memories. My Auntie Josie in her kitchen on the farm in Ennis, freshly baked every day and always served with lashings of fresh butter and homemade strawberry jam washed down with proper tea umm. Summer holidays spent romping through the fields, collecting eggs and making dens and wading through the bog, completely free of any care, these are what childhoods are made of.
Soda bread is incredibly easy to make, there are lots of recipes but here is mine. Soda Bread really doesn't keep and its always best to eat on the day of bake, so I make a small one just enough for the two of us but you can double / treble up on ingredients to feed a bigger crowd. Whilst traditionally a completely wheaten bread I like to make it 50/50 wholemeal and white flour, it makes it just a little lighter.
So to make, put in a bowl 175g each of Wholemeal and White Self Raising Flours, half a teaspoon of bicarb or soda, a good pinch of salt, mix and make a well and add the buttermilk (fake or real) and quickly with a fork bring it all together and plop out onto the work top.
You don't really need to knead Soda Bread as its not designed to be a light fluffy loaf, which is the reason to knead all other bread to stretch the gluten, you just knead it enough to bring it together and then finish it off by marking it with a cross (I mean how else can you ward off the devil? ;)), and put it a preheated oven 200 degrees C for about 25 mins.
Waiting for it to cool is the hardest bit. This morning I made brunch and served it with smoked bacon and lightly poached eggs, which just oozed their yokey goodness ...... gastronomy seriously doesn't get any better than this.
After brunch we took a walk to the paper shop to buy the Sunday Paper and some fresh veg for supper. Just happened to be lured by the pub for a pint, well it is Sunday and it would be rude not to ...