April 28, 2020 Irish Soda Bread and The joy of Baking

Irish Soda Bread is a remarkably simple thing. We can do lots with it, especially in these challenging times. It is a great start for would be bakers.

It makes up the essential element of a breakfast on the run, in the form of toast, a picnic lunch, an afternoon tea or just a quick snack in front of the TV at night. It is a simple every day commodity that we can sometimes take for granted. In times of shortage or severity it is the very first thing that people will panic buy, and the first thing the shops will sell out of. But have you ever sat back and though of making your own?

As a small child I can remember my mother and indeed my grandmother making bread every day and it was the very first thing I learned to make – without even realising that I was having a cookery lesson.

Mason Mixing BowlMy mother would take our the much used and very well-loved brown mixing bowl. (If you ask most Irish people, they will remember their homes having one and they probably still have it).

Next would come the all-important apron, because a 5 or 6-year-old can make a serious mess!

The flour, buttermilk, bread soda would follow.

Mason Mixing BowlNow if you have never made bread you do not know what you are missing out on. The pure satisfaction for a child of mixing all those ingredients together with a wooden spoon is amazing, but not half as good as getting your hands into the bowl and bringing the mixture together. It is a totally sensory joy!

Getting the bread into the oven nearly made you a bit sad, but getting it out an hour later made up for that when you were allowed a warm piece of good old fashioned Irish Soda Bread with the butter melting on top. And for total bliss you would add some red jam!

Please give my recipe a try – you will be surprised how simple it is, and how satisfying it is to have your very own bread.