Two white soda loaves

This is a basic soda bread, following the Irish mode. I scaled up the recipe from one of Beard's, and changed it some. It is quite crusty, and really all-purpose. This soda bread takes around a third the time and a half the effort of a comparable yeast bread. Since no yeast bread is much like it, I don't know what would be comparable. People who have never tried a soda bread will note many differences, like the order you add things (flour and then the liquid...).


(2 loaves)


  1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Preheat the oven to
  3. Stir in buttermilk, a cup at a time. You should make a fairly soft dough that will nonetheless hold its shape. Thus, you may need the full amount of buttermilk.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured board (this is a stock phrase; do it anyway). Knead until it is smooth and soft, probably about 7 minutes. You should have to keep adding a little flour to the board for the first few minutes to keep the dough from sticking.
  5. Are you using currants? Knead them in, then. Or don't, accordingly.
  6. Tear the dough in half. Form each half into a ball. With a knife, slash a cross in the top.
  7. Place the balls, cross up, well apart, on a greased baking sheet.
  8. Put this sheet, bread side up, into the oven.
  9. Bake for 35 or 40 minutes. The loaves are done when they sound hollow at a knocking hand. They should also get to be a nice light brown color. The cross will split open, and the resultant points will get hard and dark brown. Soda bread has a tendency to crack in the oven. This is no big deal.


    You can substitute, per James Beard's recommendation, about 4 cups of whole-wheat flour for half the white. Since this will be heavier, use about 40% more baking powder. The bread made this way is markedly different.


Difficulty: easy to moderate.
Time: 30 minutes building, 45 minutes baking.
Precision: Measure the ingredients.


David Hendler 
Aiken Computation Lab (Harvard Univ.) 
Recipe last modified: 15 Apr 87

Original header

Path: decwrl!recipes
From: (David Hendler)
Newsgroups: alt.gourmand
Subject: RECIPE: Irish soda bread
Message-ID: <11669@decwrl.DEC.COM>
Date: 18 Sep 87 03:09:01 GMT
Sender: recipes@decwrl.DEC.COM
Distribution: alt
Organization: Aiken Computation Lab, Harvard Univ., Cambridge, Mass., USA
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