Friday, November 22, 2013

Prairie Kitchens - Irish Soda Bread

-30 this morning in Saskatoon and I'm thinking of the pioneers. Imagine leaving bread to rise overnight and finding it frozen in the morning. That was a winter reality for pioneer families in Saskatchewan. So, many of them turned to bannock and soda bread instead. And really, they're just as good with butter and jam while huddled around a crackling fire...

(Make Irish Colcannon with that!)

Irish Soda Bread
4 cups all purpose flour (or 3, with 1 cup whole wheat flour)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp sugar (optional)
2 cups buttermilk

Hold back 1/2 cup flour. Blend the rest of the dry ingredients. Pour in buttermilk. Mix quickly with a fork and then your fingers. Turn onto a floured surface and knead by hand just until it holds together and is no longer sticky, 1-2 minutes. Use the extra 1/2 cup flour as needed to flour your hands and prevent sticking.

Place the ball of dough on a baking sheet and press to flatten the top. Slash with a knife, cutting about 1 inch deep. If you do not slash deep enough, the centre of the bread may be uncooked. Bake at 425F for 35-40 minutes. When cooked, the bread will be quite brown and a good tap on its bottom will sound hollow. You bad bad soda bread...

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