I love the idea of bread that can me made from scratch in under an hour! No yeast, no rising, and a delicious nutty, malty flavour.
I researched Irish soda bread online, and discovered that the only essential ingredients are flour, bi-carbonate of soda, buttermilk and salt.
Here is a helpful website aptly named – Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread: http://www.sodabread.info/
In my recipe I have added a tablespoon of black treacle, to give a little sweetness and that malty flavour. Quite by accident I neglected to add the treacle to the buttermilk before adding to the dry ingredients, so I mixed it into the dough after the addition of the buttermilk. This gave a lovely streaked effect to the baked bread!
340g plain flour
½ tsp salt
½ -1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbls black treacle
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.
Place flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl and stir.
Make a well in the centre of the mixture, and pour in the buttermilk, mixing quickly to form a soft dough. (Depending upon the absorbency of the flour, you may need to add a little milk if the dough seems too stiff but it should not be too wet or sticky.)
Stir in treacle, and mix well, then turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly.
Form into a round then place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
Cut a cross on the top and bake for about 30 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack.
Serve with lashings of butter, jam or golden syrup!