I’m a big fan of baking brown soda bread but I was always nervous about baking white soda bread. Maybe it’s because I know so many ladies, my Granny included, who have made the most delicious loaves over the years, that I was afraid I would insult them by baking a mediocre loaf.
A few summers ago, Daddy introduced me to a neighbour of ours who is a very talented soda bread baker. I was dropped at her house and we spent an afternoon baking plain loaves and fruit loaves. We baked. We ate. We drank tea (even though I don’t really like tea but I couldn’t say no). She called me Niamh for the entire afternoon but I didn’t have the heart to say “Sorry, I’m Amy.”
That afternoon I learned a few things:
1. Weighing scales are a non-essential item when baking.
2. A mug, a spoon and a hand can replace a weighing scale.
3. Trust your instinct – If it’s too wet, add more flour. If it’s too dry, add more milk.
I shared this recipe on Facebook and a viewer shared a tip from her grandmother – add a tbsp of custard powder when adding the flour to improve the flavour. Not necessary but worth trying.
Hope you enjoy
450g self-raising flour
1 tsp bread soda
60g sugar (optional)
Pinch of salt
100g dried fruit
Preheat the oven to 190C and grease a 2lb loaf tin.
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl or jug. Make a well in the centre and gradually mix in the milk.
Transfers to the prepared tin and bake at 190C for 20 minutes before reducing to 170C and baking for a further 25 mins.
Remove from the tin immediately and wrap in a clean tea towel to cool.