The easiest bread to make without having to wait for the dough to rise and a lot of kneading after is soda bread. It is crusty on the outside and chewy inside much like scones. It’s quick to make and so incredibly easy.
This dense and rustic bread was originally made with four basic ingredients – flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk and baked in a cast iron skillet, sometime in the mid-19th century. Since various forms of soda bread became popular where dried fruits, nuts, eggs, butter or oil are added to the original recipe.
My soda bread has lots of plump dark raisins and crunch walnuts and is baked on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. The smell of freshly baked bread is incredible. It surely sends signals to my tastebuds and I’m ready for a tasty warm slice of soda bread with brie cheese and fig jam; that’s how I love it!!! You can dress it with butter or jam or both.
A gentle reminder, wrap the soda bread well with plastic film after it has cooled, and store it at room temperature, it will keep for a couple of days.
If you love soda bread as much as I do, I know it won’t last in your kitchen very long.
- 41/2 cup all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 11/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
- 11/4 cup cold buttermilk (see Note)
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 cup raisins
- ⅔ cup walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine 4 cups of flour, sugar baking soda and salt. Add the butter and mix to combine with dry mixture.
- In a glass bowl whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream and the lightly beaten egg. Begin adding the wet mixture a little at a time to the dry mixture with the mixer on low speed until all is combined well. Add the raisins and walnuts continue mixing on low until well combined. The dough will be wet and sticky.
- Dust a dry clean surface with the remaining half cup of flour. Pour the dough on the floured surface and knead it until the dough is smooth. Shape into a round loaf.
- Place the round loaf on the cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. With a knife, cut an X in the top of the bread loaf. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the bread comes out clean.
- Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Note: If you do not have buttermilk on hand you can make your own by combining 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk. Stir and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before use.