Citizens, with this week’s Brexit vote, we have already highlighted a Scottish recipe since the Scots are likely to secede from the United Kingdom based on the vote.
Now, here is an Irish recipe since that country is possibly going to merge with Northern Ireland in the near future as well based on the historic result of this decision!
Irish soda bread is a variety of “quick bread” in which sodium bicarbonate (otherwise known as baking soda) is used as a leavening agent instead of the more common yeast.
The ingredients of traditional soda bread are flour, bread soda, salt, and buttermilk. The buttermilk in the dough contains lactic acid, which reacts with the baking soda to form tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide.
In Ireland, the flour is typically made from soft wheat; so soda bread is best made with a cake or pastry flour (made from soft wheat), which has lower levels of gluten than a bread flour.
In some recipes, the buttermilk is replaced by live yogurt or even stout – we will stay with the classic. Various forms of soda bread are popular throughout Ireland. Soda breads are made using wholemeal, white flour, or both.
In Ulster, the wholemeal variety is usually known as wheaten bread and normally sweetened, while the term “soda bread” is restricted to the white savoury form.
In the southern provinces of Ireland, the wholemeal variety is usually known as brown bread and is almost identical to the Ulster wheaten. In some parts of Fermanagh, the white flour form of the bread is described as fadge.
Other ingredients can be added such as butter, egg, raisins, or nuts, but to a traditionalist this would not be “true” soda bread. The “imposter” recipe most enjoyed today is known as “spotted dog”, so called because of the admixture of currants into the bread.
Spotted dog is best made with a combination of white and brown flour – TFD prefers it more balanced to white. Try enjoying it with some classic Irish stew for a complete and hearty meal!
Battle on – The Generalissimo
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