Thursday, March 17, 2011

Irish Brown Soda Bread

I usually make a soda bread with raisins for Saint Patrick's Day.  This year I decided to see if I could find one that uses whole wheat flour instead of white.... and I did. 

I found several, actually, and most of them called for oats, which I didn't want in my bread.  So, I came up with my own.  I think the Irish actually call it soda cake, rather than bread.

Soda bread would traditionally be baked on a hot cast-iron griddle over an open peat fire. The griddled soda bread would be cooked into a round with an indentation marking the quarters; each quarter when broken off, hot and warm is called a farl.

Today, the bread is baked in the oven with consistent results; a light hand is still important though.

This is a fairly heavy bread and just cries out for butter and jam!

Irish Brown Soda Bread
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup skim milk with 1 Tbs lemon juice added (the lemon juice sours and thickens the milk)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Add the milk and stir to form a loose dough.
  3. Lightly dust the work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Knead the dough gently until smooth.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball and flatten to roughly 2 inches thick. Using a sharp knife lightly slash the surface of the dough in the shape of a cross.
  5. Place the dough on a greased, baking sheet and bake in the oven for 30-35 mins until well risen and a light brown color.
  6. Leave to cool.
  7. Cut into 8 wedges.
Weight Watchers P+ = 3.  About right for a slice of whole wheat bread.
Calories 120; Protein 5g; Carbohydrate 23g; Fat 1g; Fibre 2g

It really set off the corned beef and cabbage dinner that we prepared in the slow cooker.

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