Would you believe that I only started making my own bread about three years ago. Before that I would always be treated to fresh home baked bread from my dear Mother. She made bread daily and always maintained that a slice of her brown bread with a piece of cheese was as nutritious as any meal. With practice I have mastered a few of my own breads but White Soda Bread is most certainly the easiest to make! However I have yet to make a bread that tastes as good as my mother's tasted and even though I have a hand written recipe (which I cherish) it just never tastes the same.
I always remember my mother kneading her soda bread mixture before popping it in the oven. As mentioned before I'm not formally trained as a chef and many of my recipes and methods tend to be what I have found to work best for me. So I tend not to knead but instead I just gather the wet dough together with floured hands and bring it gently together on a floured work surface. Don't worry if it appears sticky just pat with a little extra flour.
It is the most versatile recipe as even though it is delicious plain the addition of some key ingredients can transform it into something amazing. I previously posted my Sun Dried Tomato and Fresh Herb Soda Bread which works perfectly with a bowl of soup or a piece of really nice cheese! Some spices, like crushed coriander seeds can be added for a mild spicy bread. Many also add raisins or chocolate chips. Any of the above additional ingredients are added with the dry ingredients. But for today I am keeping my soda bread authentic! As there are so few ingredients in this recipe I love to use all good quality ingredients especially the buttermilk. My favourite buttermilk to buy is Cuinneog Natural Buttermilk. This recipe will be enough for a round loaf or a 2lb loaf tin.