One of my very favourite tea time treats apart from Raisin Scones is Irish Soda Bread. Slathered with butter and jam, it makes for a tasty and hearty treat. The sheer simplicity of this bread is what makes it shine out amongst the many bakes loaded with butter, sugar, and eggs that could be sitting beside your teacup on any given day. Then there is the taste - Irish Soda Bread has a clean nutty taste (though this will depend on the kind of flour your choose) and a texture that makes every bite satisfying.
I like to bake on the weekends and its usually a loaf of bread and a cake or cookies for the coming week. Yesterday I decided on Irish Soda Bread, a Lemon Pound Cake (actually two - one for the DH office and one for home), and a batch of Vanilla Custard as a treat!!
2 cups whole grain wheat flour
2 cups atta ( Indian Chappati Flour)
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup prunes, stoned
2 cups cultured buttermilk
- Sift the flours, salt, and baking soda together in a large mixing bowl.
- Chop the prunes in half and drop them into the flour.
- Add a cup and half of the buttermilk and using the palms of your hands, gently bring the dough together. Add the remaining buttermilk as needed. The dough should be soft and sticky.
- Do not knead. Once all the flour and prunes have come together as a dough, place it on a prepared baking sheet. Shape it into a round loaf and pat on the top to level.
- Using a sharp knife, cut a cross across the top. It should be deep enough to be just about halfway to the bottom of the loaf.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 350F for about 50 minutes to an hour.
- Turn off the heat, remove the bread from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
- Once cooled place in a tea towel and store in a cool dry place until you are ready to enjoy it.
- Slice, toast, and enjoy with butter. If you have a sweet tooth, don't forget to slather it with your favourite jam or conserve!!
- The dough for this bread is made rather like the dough for a buttermilk biscuit or a scone. NO kneading or you with end up with a hard and tight dough and a leathery bread.
- Don't worry about putting in a little extra buttermilk if you feel the dough is not moist enough. More buttermilk means a softer bread.
- If you want to use this bread for savoury sandwiches or to eat with soup, drop the prunes.
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