Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Irish Soda Bread : 'Baking with Julia'

Keeping St.Patrick's Day in mind, the 'TWD:Baking with Julia' group settled on an Irish Soda Bread for our next bake-together. Soda bread is one of the easiest bread recipe floating around. It is, especially, for those who've always wanted to make bread but don't want to go through the trouble of kneading the dough or, for whatever reason, harbour a fear of yeast..remember my white loaf of bread!! It comes under the category of 'quick bread' and when they say quick....well, it literally takes 5 minutes to get the dough done before you put it in the oven!!

After all the fuss that the rugelach created, I think everyone in the group must have been happy to see a recipe that required just 4 ingredients and took all of 5 minutes of work!!! Before, I get to my baking experience, can i just admit that photographing the soda bread has been my most difficult photographic experience to date. It tested the capabilities of my compact camera as well as my nascent photographic skills like nothing before. So, please bear with the photographs even as I begin the hunt for a digital-SLR....


Moving on.. while the recipe does not have yeast, it does rely on soda bi-carbonate to be the raising agent. Buttermilk is then used in the recipe and the resultant chemical reaction between it and the soda bi-carb is what makes the dough rise. Kneading is kept to the absolute minimum (about one minute!!), just until the flour mixture comes together. Pop it in the oven for fifty minutes and you are done!!

All extremely simple except that it seems almost fated that every time I attempt to make bread, there has to be a little drama. In this case, five minutes into baking and we had a power cut!! It is Murphy's special little law for home-bakers in India that all of us have encountered sometime or the other - "Think you have done everything the recipe asks for and are feeling confident and there will be a power cut few minutes into baking!!"


Luckily, Murphy was countered by a lucky Leprechaun and ten minutes later, the electricity was restored. Because the oven had been pre-heated for a while, it did not affect the end result too much... Phew!!

Much like the artisanal breads that are becoming increasingly popular these days, this bread has a rustic feel to it. The 'X' slashed on top giving it an almost, medieval look! The hard, golden-brown crust on the outside hides a soft inside, though do not expect it to be as airy as a yeast bread. Like most of the recipes in this book, the recipe delivers superlatively on taste!!


The recipe is simple enough to be attempted by a novice baker. In fact, if bread making intimidates you, start off with this recipe as the results will not disappoint! Made in just under an hour's time, it can be eaten alone with butter slathered on  or as an accompaniment to a soup or a stew. And that's what i did..re-created an Irish supper in India - Irish soda bread along with some hearty, Irish lamb stew. I'll leave it to your imagination on how good it was to mop up the stew gravy with this crusty bread!!

Due to copyright considerations, only the person hosting the recipe for the group 'TWD:Baking with Julia' can post the recipe on their blog. The recipe for the Irish soda bread will be available on the blogs of Carla and Cathleen. Alternately, you can write to me at bakerindisguise@gmail.com and I will mail you the recipe.

42 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks mireia..yours looked great too!!

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  2. Yours look wonderful! Wish I would have liked the taste.

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  3. Oh I can picture eating this bread right now with a nice big bowl of piping hot lamb stew! Your bread turned out great!

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    1. Thank you 'Flourchild'!! It was afterall such an easy recipe!!

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  4. Your bread is beautiful and I agree it couldn't be an easier recipe to whip up. It really does have a rustic feel to it which would fool a novice baker that this recipe might take effort, which it does not.

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    1. So true Michelle!!! not only was it easy..it also did not take much time!!!

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  5. great looking loaf and gorgeous pictures!

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    1. Thank you Heather!! :) to be honest...i really struggled with the photographs!!! luckily i managed to clean them up..:)

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  6. I served mine with a Guinness Beef stew…it was wonderful! Your bread looks beautiful…nicely done!

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    1. Yeah.. can you imagine my horror!???! luckily..it was restored ten minutes later..thankfully!!:)

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  8. Oh no! Well it still looks like it turned out great!

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    1. Thankfully Sara..otherwise it would have been se frustrating!!

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  9. What a great job -and the perfect combo Irish Stew and Soda bread. Happy to have found your blog.

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    1. Thank you Lynn for your words and for dropping by!!! Please do drop by again!! :)

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  10. Your bread looks fantastic! The pix are always a challenge with a pocket camera. Check out the Canon Rebel. It is highly recommended by a lot of bloggers and pretty reasonably priced. David Lebovitz gives a comprehensive review of it on his blog.

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    1. Oh this is really helpful!! Thank you so much... will definitely go check it out! because the more cameras i look at and the more people i ask....is making it all the more confusing!! Again.. this is really helpful!! :)

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  11. Looks perfect! Glad the power came back on in time. I wish I had some Irish stew and soda bread right now. Looking through everyone's posts is inspiring me to make another loaf.

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    1. Thank you Teresa! and the best part is that the recipe is so easy and takes so little time.. it's hardly a bother to do another one!! :)

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  12. Looks delicious! LOVE the middle picture!

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    1. Thank you Gretchen!! appreciate it!! :)

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  13. Hey, landed here while blog-hopping...this is one amazing blog...am trying your strawberry brulee soon, it looks awesome, love that you used hung curd ! and this bread looks really good too...great pics...

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    1. Hi Arch.. Thank you for dropping by and thank you even more for such lovely words!! :) You must try the strawberry brulee.. while the strawberries are still around.. it is easy and really light and fresh!! you will enjoy it!! Look forward to seeing more of you out here!! :)

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  14. I second the Canon Rebel! I finally buckled and "invested" in one last month, best purchase in a long time.

    Your bread looks fantastic, and I'm glad the power cut didn't have any adverse affects!

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    1. Thanks Heather!! In fact I just finished speaking to a friend of mine who was also recommending the same.. i believe its also quite an affordable one.. so am more or else closing in on it!! :)

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  15. Power outages are the worst!
    I remember one holiday meal where I lost power in the middle of cooking dinner & had 15 people coming over in an hour... Somehow it all worked out in the end.
    Your bread looks like it survived the trauma :-)

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    1. A power outage when you are expecting 15 people for dinner... Ack!!!! are you serious?!?! I would have had a panic attack!! Thankfully..my bread survived the trauma!!

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  16. Your bread looks great! This is the easiest bread recipe, I am happy to have tried it..

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    1. Thanks ferda.. it doesnt get easier than this when it comes to baking bread!! :)

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  17. love the rustic look your bread has. its just gorgeous.

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    1. Thank you 'Baker Street'...for dropping by and commenting!! Hope to see you again!! :)

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  18. I also love rustic bread. It just looks so inviting. Your bread, despite your apologies for photos, looks great. Love that you cut it into huge chunks. Delicious.

    Thanks for stopping by.

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    1. Thank you 'tealady'!! It was quite a delicious bread wasnt it!?! Gonna make it again!

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  19. That really sounds like something that would happen to me (everything great until the power goes out!) I feel your pain! Your loaf looks delicious! I was super excited about how easy this bread was and all the possibilities for the future.

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    1. Thanks Amanda!! the only saving grace was that the electricity came back in 10 minutes!! Thankfully..the damage was not too much!! The bread was amazing.. so simple..the next time I want to try out the different variations that I've read about!!

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  20. Absolutely breadiful! I mean beautiful :) Your photo is amazing and you prove that you could make great photos with a point-and-shoot pocket camera!

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    1. Thank you 'ovenchaos'!!! But the photographs for this one were really tough..but managed to clean them up quite decently!! :) Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!!

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