There are lots and lots of different recipes for soda bread, every house has its own, and theirs is always the best (like the winemakers in Zagoria). Now I know when people think of Ireland, at least Croatians(I don’t mean to generalize), they think of Guinness, green fields and rain…. But Ireland, like Croatia boasts a rich culinary history, one that has been influenced, and changed over time by neighboring countries, and far flung places. One of these places is of course America.
The humble potato, also a gift to Europe from the Americas, was, and still is a major staple in the Irish diet. It arrived on our shores in the 1500’s, along with Sir Walter Raleigh, and soon became the main source of food for the native people of Ireland. But it was susceptible to disease and in 1800’s, when the potato blight struck and the people starved, it reshaped Ireland forever. Here comes soda bread.
Soda was actually one of the many gifts from the Native American people to the world,.They used “pearl ash” a type of soda found in the ashes of wood, to leaven their bread. Around this time (1830), Ireland started to use soda bicarbonate to make bread. The relatively inexpensive ingredients, and low technical skill made it popular and helped feed the nation. Since then Ireland has become synonymous with soda bread, and it is made all over the world to celebrate St. Patrick’s day.
My recipe is a mash up between my fathers’ soda bread recipe, and one from teta Lilly (my babysitter who taught me to bake). It’s salty and sweet, crumbly and moist, and goes perfect with lashings of butter. Enjoy
Brown Soda Bread
170 g oštrog brašna
170g integralnog brašna
¾ žličice sode bikarbone
½ žličice praška za pecivo
250 g stepka
30 g maslaca
1 žličica soli
2 žličice meda
Zagrijte pečnicu na 170 C, posudu u kojoj ćete peći kruh obložite papirom za pečenje.
Sve suhe sastojke stavite u zdjelu i promiješajte, narežite i dodajte maslac, pa prstima umiješajte maslac u brašno dok ne dobite konzistenciju krušnih mrvica.
Istucite jaje, npravite rupu u sredini smjese suhih sastojka, te dodajte stepko, jaje i med. Rukama izmješati dok se sve ne spoji u mokru smjesu.
Stavite smjesu u posudu za pečenje, posipajte brašnom, te zarežite nožem križ u sredini kruha.
Stavite u prethodno zagrijanu pečnicu, i pecite 40-45 minuta.
Brown Soda Bread
170 g Plain flour
170 g Wholemeal flour
¾ tsp. Soda bicarb.
½ tsp Baking powder
250 g Buttermilk
30 g Butter
1 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Honey
Preheat the oven to 170 C, line a ovenproof pot or bread tin with parchment paper.
Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix through, slice the butter into the flour and using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Beat the egg and place in a well, in the center of the dry ingredients, along with the buttermilk and honey. Combine until you have a wet mix.
Put the mixture onto the prepared dish, sprinkle generously with flour, and cut a cross in the center of the bread.
Put into the preheated oven, and bake for 40-45 minutes.