There is a bit of Christmas in this soda bread as I have added raisins and cranberries, and a few more berries to the recipe. I would have loved to make it wholly Christmasy by adding rum-soaked fruits from my jar of Christmas fruit cake mix, which is three months old and is gloriously magnificent. But I have children who love soda bread. Hence I preferred to make it suitable for them to eat and overeat.
But you are free to add a hand full of Christmas rum-soaked fruits into the recipe, which will spread the Christmas aura.
Soda bread is simple, which do not require yeast to expand and grow in the oven. As the name suggests, we are using baking soda in the recipe which works with buttermilk and helps the bread to expand/grow/rise in the oven.
The bread is delicious, it is gorgeous and it is easy to bake in the home kitchen.
You can check out the recipe video on my Instagram page for a quick understanding of the recipe. My Instagram page is @2blissofbaking
Soda bread is a traditional recipe, which is made using very basic ingredients. Flour, baking soda, fat, salt, sugar and soured milk.
I prefer using half whole wheat flour and half maida (all-purpose flour) for my soda bread. This combination gives the best textural result.
I suggest, do not try to convert the recipe. Because I know you are thinking of using only whole wheat flour. I know we try to make things healthy at home. But trust me to use half of both and if you are bothered about the calories, eat less. But eat deliciously.
FreshDcart Baking Plastic Measuring Cups and Spoons Set with 12Pcs for Measure and Processing Cake (Random Colour)
There is buttermilk mentioned in the recipe.
I make buttermilk at home. Never have bought it, and I am not sure if packaged buttermilk is available in the Indian market. Anyways, I make buttermilk by adding 1 tbsp of vinegar into 1 cup of milk. Just stir it once and let it sit on the kitchen counter for about 20 minutes.
Buttermilk will be ready by the time you are prepping the other ingredients for the recipe.
I have also used one egg in the recipe. Its adds richness and binds the ingredients well. If you want to avoid using egg, simply give it a miss. Increase the quantity of the buttermilk and make sure you make buttermilk using full-fat milk.
My recipe says 400ml of buttermilk + 1 egg
You can use 430ml of buttermilk (made using full-fat milk) and skip the egg.
This bread doesn’t require kneading. You just have to combine all the ingredients, shape and bake. You have to be very conscious about not over mixing the ingredients because it will toughen the bread.
We rub the butter into the dry flour before adding the buttermilk which will reduce the chance of gluten formation.
It is important to preheat the oven for at least 15 minutes. We preheat the oven at 200C and bake the bread for initial 15 minutes at 200 C. After baking for 15 minutes we reduce the temperature to 160*C and bake it further for another 30 minutes.
You mustn’t open the oven door during the baking time.
Before baking a cross is cut on the top using a sharp knife. According to the traditional belief, it is done to ward off the devil and protect the family. But baking logic is that the cut marks allows the heat to circulate in the centre and help in even baking.
DOCOSS- Pack of 6-Silicone Spatula Set For Cooking Premium Quality with Stainless Steel Core Non stick Heat-Resistant Silicon Spatulas Brush for Cake Mixer ,BBQ, Baking & Mixing Home Kitchen Tools(Blue)
If you use egg to give the bread an egg-wash before baking. If not, brush the bread with some milk before baking. This will ensure that you achieve beautiful golden brown.
Check out this article if you are confused about what to buy
Soda Bread Recipe
- Mixing bowls
- Baking tray
- 1 and 3/4th cup whole wheat flour
- 1 and 3/4th cup all-purpose flour (maida)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda https://amzn.to/3m8uk9H
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 40 gm butter (cold and cubed)
- 1 whole egg
- 400 ml buttermilk
- A handful of seeds and chopped nuts (of choice) https://amzn.to/3a6CBZo
- A handful of dried berries (of choice) https://amzn.to/3m8utKh
- 1 tsp eggwash or milk (to brush before baking)
- 1 tbsp oats (to sprinkle on the top before baking) https://amzn.to/3a9Ajcd
- Preheat the oven to 200* C and line a baking tray https://amzn.to/347q6ca with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Mix together the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, salt, sugar and baking soda in a large bowl. https://amzn.to/2JNy7wgAdd the butter and rub into the flour mixture with your fingertips until it resembles bread crumbs.
- Add in the seeds, nuts, dried berries and mix all.
- Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the egg and buttermilk. (refer to the above article if not using egg)
- Using an open hand bring the flour and liquid together to a loose dough. The dough should be quite soft, but not too sticky.
- Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and gently bring the dough together into a roundabout of 8 inches with 1 and 1/2 inch of height.
- Use a bench scraper https://amzn.to/342JtmE to lift the shaped bread and place in on the prepared baking tray.
- Score the bread with a deep cross on top using a sharp knife. Brush the top of the bread with egg wash and sprinkle few seeds and oats on the top.
- Bake https://amzn.to/3a4R8oG for 15 minutes at 200* C, then turn down the oven to 160* C and bake for another 30 minutes. When done, the loaf will sound slightly hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove from the baking sheet and place on a wire rack to cool.