Authentic Irish Soda Bread is apparently made with flour, baking soda, salt, and soured milk/ buttermilk. This was a recipe that became popular in the early 19th century in Ireland when poor conditions and non-availability of yeast meant making use of inexpensive and easily available ingredients. Irish folklore also insists that each round of Irish Soda Bread must have a 1/2" cross (X) cut into the top of it, so that the devil (or fairies, if you chose to believe that instead) may escape the bread during baking!
I’m sending this bread for Bread Baking Day which is being hosted at Paulchen's Food Blog with the theme of “Bread With Egg”.An Almost Real Irish Soda Bread/ Cake(Adapted from a recipe on my oven mitt!)Ingredients:50gm unsalted butter, soft and at room temperature2 cups all-purpose flour2 tbsp granulated sugar1/2 tbsp baking powder1/2 tsp baking soda1/4 tsp salt1/2 cup buttermilk*1 small egg, lightly beaten1/2 cup dried blueberries (or raisins)* If you do not have buttermilk, you can make a substitute by adding 1 tbsp of white vinegar (or lemon juice) to 1 cup of milk, stirring well and keeping it for 10 minutes. Then use.Method:In a large bowl mix together, with your fingers, the softened butter, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and dried blueberries till blended. Don’t overdo this.Add the buttermilk and egg and working quickly, mix together with a fork till it all comes together as a shaggy looking dough. Turn it out onto a lightly floured working surface and very lightly knead the dough a couple of times so that the dough comes together as a rough looking ball. Do not overwork the dough or your bread will be tough.Place the ball on a lightly greased and floured baking sheet and flatten very slightly. Using a sharp knife, cut and “X” on the top about half way through. This helps the bread rise well and cook through during baking.Immediately, place the dough in an oven preheated to 200C (400F) and bake for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes turn the oven temperature down to 180C (350F) and bake for another 30 minutes till golden brown on top.When done and the bread is tapped, you should hear a hollow sound. Let the bread cool on the sheet for about 10 minutes and then cool on a rack. You will be tempted, but better to wait as the bread cuts easier when cool.This recipe serves 4.