Up your baking game with this terrific savoury update on traditional soda bread from the London social enterprise Luminary Bakery’s new book ‘Rising Hope’
IMAGE: RACHEL STONEHOUSE
We have to thank our former Head Baker Aine, with her resourcefulness and Irish roots, for introducing us to the wonders of Irish soda bread. We sell loaves of it at our café in Stoke Newington every day (usually still warm from the oven) and our customers often tell us that they can smell it cooking from down the street! It is one of the most versatile breads out there – you can add almost any ingredients you like. It is best eaten on the day that it’s made, but makes great toast for days afterwards, especially when slathered in salted butter.
Roasted Garlic Irish Soda Bread
- 1 bulb of garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 420 ml buttermilk (or 300g natural yoghurt and 120ml whole milk mixed together)
- 250 g wholemeal plain flour
- 250 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp fine salt
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas Mark 6 and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Cut the top off the garlic bulb to just about reveal the cloves inside, leaving the papery skin on. Place the bulb in a small baking tin, drizzle with the olive oil and bake in the oven for 20–30 minutes until the cloves are soft to the touch. Set aside to cool.
- When cool, squeeze the roasted garlic out of each papery casing and into a separate bowl. Mash it up into a paste with a fork or press it through a garlic press, then mix in the buttermilk and whisk together.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flours, bicarbonate of soda, salt and pepper, making sure the salt and bicarbonate of soda are well distributed throughout the flour.
- Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk mixture. Use your hands, a spatula or bench scraper to mix the wet ingredients into the dry until a sticky dough forms.
- Lightly flour a work surface and tip the dough onto it. Gently roll and fold the dough a couple of times to bring the mixture together. Do not knead – you just want to bring it together.
- Shape the dough into a ball and transfer it to the baking tray. Gently press down with your hands to flatten the ball into a disc, about 5cm thick. Liberally dust the top with flour and use a large sharp knife to score the dough with a deep cross dividing it into quarters, about 2cm deep. A ‘sawing’ action can help get a sharp cut.
- Bake for 35–40 minutes until golden brown and hollow-sounding when turned upside-down and knocked on the bottom. Once baked, leave to cool on a wire rack.
*The Home Page may earn a small commission from purchases made using this link
Discover more delicious recipes on The Home Page here…