There are many different types of bread in the world. If you think about it, it’s really quite amazing how many results you can get from mixing just 3 basic ingredients: Flour, water and Yeast. Of course, type of flour, type of yeast and the bread-making process has a huge impact on the finished product, but even though bread is relatively easy to do, few of us take the time to make out own and opt for the cheaper, less quality, industrial made versions we get at supermarkets, or even bakeries.
About a month ago, I called home (Montreal) and spoke with my grandfather. He’s 90 years old and has had to learn to live on his own in the last 2 years since my grandmother was put in a home. Don’t let his age fool you – my grandfather has no signs of your typical 90-year-old. He’s fit, he’s intellectual, he remembers everything, speaks clearly and logically on world events now and past. He is a fountain of information, especially math, astronomy and history – his 3 favourite topics for discussion.
On that day, my grandfather told me about how he had just made a loaf of bread – home made, no bread machine or anything… just whipped it up like in the old days. He was so proud! He had let it rise 3 times, overnight. He also told me that my mom had also decided to make bread and that they were having a “Bread-Baking Showdown”. It was funny because, here I was, across an ocean, in Spain, having my own bread-baking bonanza.
I love homemade bread; the intoxicating smell it leaves in the house, the sight of butter melting over a nice thick slice of it recently out of the oven…
I think that in many ways and in many parts of the world, Bread is a dying art form. Most bread recipes take time; time to rise, time to fill with air, to bake to rest… Nowadays, you can walk into almost anywhere (a grocery store, a convenience store, a gas station) and buy “freshly baked bread”. It looks good enough, but it doesn’t taste like much. Factories mass producing bread, cutting corners wherever possible, to provide consumers with a cheaper alternative
You can find out more about me, but in short, I am a mom, 3 small kids cling to my hip at all times … my husband works long hours and, since we live in Spain, we don’t have the benefit of family nearby to help. But that doesn’t mean that I need to sacrifice enjoying delicious quality food. I tried various “Quick bread” recipes but I really liked the one below. I got it from the recipe from the Irish Food Board Bordbia.ie, and then made a couple of little changes.
This recipe will let you enjoy freshly baked homemade bread at home in under 1 hour. If you don’t have buttermilk, see what else you can you by going to Buttermilk Substitute
Now tell me… What’s better than homemade bread?
Irish Soda Bread
This recipe for homemade Irish Soda Bread is ready to eat in 1 hour. Enjoy it with butter, or jams, or accompany a nice big bowl of soup with a warm thick slice of this delicious bread.
250 g whole wheat flour
200 g plain white flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp salt
1 large egg
350 ml buttermilk
1 tbsp Molasses or Black Treacle.
- – Preheat oven to 200C
- – In a large bowl, add all the dry ingredients and mix.
- – In a separate bowl, mix together all of the wet ingredients.
- – Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix thoroughly (this task is easier if you use a mixer with a dough hook).
- – The dough will be much wetter and sticker than you would expect, but that’s exactly what we want.
- – Pour the dough into a well greased bread mould.
- – Bake at 200C for approximately 50 mins
- – You’ll know that the bread is ready if, when turning it over, knocking the under part of the loaf will sound hollow.
- – If you are in Spain, keep in mind that the while flour here is much weaker than in most countries. In Spain, replace the plain white flour with Strong white flour.
- – If you don’t have Buttermilk, go to my substitutes page to see how to make buttermilk at home.