I have baker genes on my paternal grandmother's side. Unfortunately I'm the one in the family whose baker genes decided to go on strike. I made my fair share of okay cakes and cookies when I was younger, then I stopped completely. I know there are people who can't understand the problem. You follow the recipe, everything is fine. Well, obviously it doesn't work that way for everyone. Apart from that I hate having flour everywhere, sticky surfaces, and more.
Every, now and then, however, I feel the urge coming back, usually when I don't have any bread around and I'm too lazy to go to the bakery which is incredibly far away from here, about one block ;-) Or on weekends. So whenever an easy and quick recipe comes my way, I put it on my list. And nothing seemed easier than the soda bread that I saw in an English TV show.
I prepared myself. I got baking soda and decided on spelt flour for my first attempt. Then when I checked out recipes again I noticed I had forgotten to get the buttermilk. Depending on the recipe you use you only need about four ingredients which makes the buttermilk quite important. Oh well.
Today I had it all. Again I checked out recipes and found that I was about to make white soda bread. Check out this article, there are also links to different variations. I learned about brown soda bread (I may have to get full grain flour next time, too) and white soda bread and the American variation. I may add caraway seeds the next time because I love them. Or maybe I'll make bread rolls to take to work with me.
I almost felt my baker genes waking up, ready to go. There was no stopping me. No salt in this recipe? Oh come on, at least a pinch. Here they used an egg, here they didn't. Hey, I have eggs at the moment, let's use one (and break one in the box, well done, Cat). Baking soda, baking powder. One recipe said this, the other that, the third one both. I still had an open bag with baking powder, so I went for both. My baker genes cheered me on. Until they saw my dough on the baking tray. "Too much buttermilk? Are you sure you should have put the egg in? Maybe you should have used a little more flour." When I tried to cut the X across the top, they grabbed their little bags and left again (but look, you can see the X a little in the picture after all!).
But guess what. The bread came out just fine. Yes, maybe I will use a little less buttermilk the next time, and depending on if I have one or not, I may add an egg or not. In the end it might not be a genuine Irish soda bread, but I like it and it's definitely a keeper for this baking challenged lady.
Bonus: Still almost warm, with butter and orange/ginger/passion fruit jam (a gift from my lovely neighbor lady). So good!!
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