The mother toils in the kitchen all the time to place tasty victuals on the table and on time for the family to feast upon. Therefore, it’s only fair that we make a chocolate cake for her and ice it for Mother’s Day. The father, at the head of the table, is either indifferent or critical of the food placed before him; therefore Irish soda bread, the simplest of home-baked bread, is ideal for him to bake and treat the family to on Father’s Day. It is hoped that fathers take the hint and hopefully do the washing up as well after cooking 🙂
There are several versions of Irish soda bread, from the simplest, which I am posting here, to rich ones with fruits and nuts added to the dough. If you are entertaining and you don’t have bread at home, you can make this quickly. However, it does not have much of a shelf life and should be eaten immediately, or stored in the refrigerator and heated in the microwave. I serve this with Bolognese sauce, gulyas, coddle, or some other gravy with meat.
The maida/refined wheat flour provides 11 g of protein per 100 g. The curds that is used gives 3 g of excellent milk protein and provides calcium too.
- 3 C Maida (refined wheat flour) plus 2 T for dusting
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Bicarbonate of Sodium
- 300 ml well-beaten Curds/unsweetened Yoghurt
- ½ tsp Vegetable Oil, for greasing
- Preheat the oven to 230 °C.
- Grease a cookie tray with half a teaspoon of oil.
- Scatter 2 T flour on a large, flat plate and set aside.
- Sift the flour and bicarbonate of sodium into a large bowl.
- Sprinkle salt over it and mix well.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour, pour some of the curds, and using your hand slowly mix. Do this till all the curds is used up.
- Do not knead, but mix till all the curds and flour are well blended.
- Turn the dough into the floured plate and knead for a minute and shape either into an oblong or into a round.
- Carefully transfer onto the greased cookie tray. Cut a deep cross from one edge to the other as shown in the photo. If you prefer an oblong shape you will have to make more cuts across the long arms of the cross.
- Bake for 15 minutes after which reduce the heat to 200°C. Bake for a further 30 minutes.
- When surface is golden, remove from the oven.
- To test for doneness hold the loaf with paper towels and tap the underside of the loaf. It should sound hollow.
- Cool on a wire rack.
- The dough will be extremely sticky. Take care not to stretch the dough when you transfer it into the floured plate; drop it gently.
- If you knead the dough longer than a minute the texture of the bread will be dense.
- A cross is cut on the dough to allow the steam to escape during baking.
- When you check for doneness make sure you use paper towels to handle the bread as it will be extremely hot.