Soda bread was the perfect staple for colonial families because it could be made quickly and baked over an open fire; either on a griddle or in a metal camp oven.
This recipe is for a very simple version to which you can add additional flavours (either sweet or savoury) if you choose. I’ve topped it with sunflower and pumpkin seeds for extra crunch.
Preheat oven on fan bake to 180 c (356 f) and line a large casserole dish with baking paper. I used a ceramic bread dome, but any large cooking container with a lid will do.
1 1/2 cups of wholemeal flour
1 1/2 cups high grade or strong white flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk add 1tsp of lemon juice or white vinegar per cup of milk and allow to sit for 10 minutes before using)
Sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds (optional)
Mix flours, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the buttermilk. Mix well with your hands. The dough will be sticky.
Wash and dry your hands and then flour them well. Form the dough into a round and place in the dish.
Optional - sprinkle sunflower and pumpkin seeds on top and/or use an oiled knife to cut a cross in the top. The cross was traditionally made in the bread to ward off evil spirits.
Cover dish with the lid and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the lid and bake a further 20 minutes. The bread is ready when the top is golden brown and it sounds hollow when tapped. Allow an extra 5 minutes if you’re not sure.
Soda bread is best eaten fresh from the oven as an accompaniment to soup or with cheese, ham and pickles (or simply slathered in butter). Leftovers make great toast the next day.
About the Author
An overwhelming urge to create led Kathy to pursue qualifications in both fashion design and applied design to fabric which were followed by a twenty year career in the fashion and applied arts industries and a crafting habit Martha Stewart would be proud of.
Kathy then discovered a love of teaching and began passing on the skills she'd accumulated over the years—design, pattern-making, sewing, Art Clay Silver, screen-printing and machine embroidery to name a few.
Creative writing started as a self-dare to see if she had the chops to write a manuscript. Kathy’s first novel, Peak Hill, which was developed from that manuscript, was a finalist in the Romance Writers of New Zealand Pacific Hearts Full Manuscript contest in 2016.
Her second novel, Throwing Light was published in February 2017 and her third novel, The Moral Compass is due out in late 2017.
Kathy now squeezes full time study for an advanced diploma in creative writing around writing the sequel to The Moral Compass, teaching sewing and being a wife and mother.
K. A. Servian on the web:
Florence lives like a Princess attending dinner parties and balls away from the gritty reality, filth and poverty of Victorian London.
However, her world comes crashing around her when her father suffers a spectacular fall from grace. She must abandon her life of luxury, leave behind the man she loves and sail to the far side of the world where compromise and suffering beyond anything she can imagine await her.
When she is offered the opportunity to regain some of what she has lost, she takes it, but soon discovers that not everything is as it seems. The choice she has made has a high price attached and she must live with the heart-breaking consequences of her decision.
This novel is part one in the 'Shaking the Tree' series.
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